Skip to main content

Full text of "The art of William Morris"

See other formats





Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Federally funded with LSTA funds through the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners 



THIS IS NO. !o-> 

lOm*m <J/srr& 










HOUGH it was not my intention to write 
a preface, circumstances have made it 
necessary that I should do so. In the 
first place I wish it to be noticed that I 
chose purposely to call my book "The Art 
of William Morris " so as to show that 
it makes no claim to be a biography nor 
a record of any of his private and family 
affairs. Such a work I was neither 
asked nor authorized to write. It is 
true, of course, that I had the privilege 
of knowing the late Mr. Morris personally — from the year 1883 
onwards until his death. At the same time I submit that, with 
two or three very trifling exceptions, I have not introduced into 
the book any details of his life which were not already common 
property — which could not just as well have been strung together 
by any one who knew where to find the scattered references in 
Mr. Morris's own writings, and in various other publications, 
without ever having met Mr. Morris face to face ; nor more than 
such as were necessary to link together the contents of the book 
in some sort of consecutive order. 

I must state that when I first approached Mr. Morris, in the 
autumn of 1894, on the question of the proposed book, he told me 
then frankly that he did not want it to be done either by myself 
or by anybody else so long as he was alive, but that if I would 
only wait until his death I might do it. Thus I have now Mr. 
Morris's express sanction for bringing out a work upon himself; 
nor need I point out that he could have stopped its preparation 
at the outset, had he chosen to withhold his permission to 
reproduce his designs. Whereas, on the contrary, he insisted 
that if the work came out at all, it must be illustrated ; he gave 
me a general permission to reproduce a selection from the 
property of the firm of Morris and Co., provided I obtained the 
consent of his partners (which was accorded, I am bound to say, 
with a courtesy coupled with the kindest assistance, for which I 
do not know how to express all the thanks that are due) ; he gave 
me specific authority to reproduce a number of ornaments of the 
Kelmscott Press, some of which he suggested and chose for 
me himself, only stipulating that the blocks for this purpose 
should be prepared by Mr. Emery Walker ; he referred me to Mr. 
Fairfax Murray, who is the owner of a few early cartoons of 
great value from the artist's hand ; and lastly, when he lay on his 


death-bed, Lady Burne-Jones having asked him, on my applica- 
tion to be shown the illuminated books in her possession, whether 
he approved of her doing so, he replied that it was quite right, and 
himself told her about my forthcoming book. Accordingly, Lady 
Burne-Jones was kind enough to let me see all the books I de- 
sired, and moreover, she entrusted me, complete stranger as I was, 
alone in the room with them for more than an hour, to allow me 
the opportunity of making what notes of them I pleased for 
publication. For the rest, neither the members of Mr. Morris's 
family nor his friends have made themselves responsible for 
what I have written. 

I should state that my original purpose was to have included 
an account of Mr. Morris's literary and political work as well — 
indeed he himself remarked to me, when he and I were discussing 
the plan of this book, that it would not be fair to slur over nor to 
suppress the subject of Socialism. But, the limits of time and 
space allowed me by my publishers having been reached by the 
middle of the fifth chapter, I was compelled to confine myself 
thereafter to an account of Kelmscott Manor (for the section 
whereon the blocks had been already prepared at no small cost 
from photographs kindly lent me by Mr. Frederick H. Evans), 
and to the two chapters that follow, which deal with indispensable 
phases of Mr. Morris's art work. The omissions will not, it is 
hoped, impair the unity of the book as a study of William Morris's 
artistic side. It seemed to me better, on the whole, to leave the 
material I had in hand relating to the other subjects in abeyance 
(to be published, I trust, at some future date), rather than, by 
summarizing, to render it disproportionate to the rest. 

The fifth chapter treats connectedly of what, I believe, is so 
far new ground ; nothing beyond incidental notices having been 
made by previous writers to this, the most important movement 
in the history of modern art. This, then, I venture to name as 
perhaps the distinctive feature of the present work — of my share 
of it— I mean. 

In conclusion I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to my 
friend, Mr. Temple Scott, for supplying, at infinite pains, the 
bibliography which I, no expert, could not myself have under- 
taken, and to all others, more especially to Mr. C. Fairfax Murray, 
who by their advice and information, or by furnishing the re- 
quisite leave to reproduce objects in their possession, have con- 
tributed to lighten the responsibilities of my task. 

February, 1897. 















PORTRAIT of William Morris, in photogravure . . . Frontispiece 
The Red House, Upton. From the Garden. From a drawing by H. P. 

Clifford 29 

The Red House, Upton. The Well. From a drawing by H. P. Clifford 30 

The Red House, Upton. The Staircase. From a drawing by H. P. 

Clifford 31 

The Red House, Upton. Panels of Early Morris Glass. From a drawing 

by H. P. Clifford 32 and 33 

The Red House, Upton. Buffet in the Dining-Room. From a drawing 

by H. P. Clifford 34 

The Red House, Upton. TheLanding. From a drawing by H. P. Clifford 35 

The Red House, Upton. Wall Paintings, by Sir E. Burne-Jones, Bart. Facing 36 
Painted Glass in St. Martin's Church, Scarborough. Designed by D. G. 

Rossetti Facing 47 

Painted Glass in St. Giles's Church, Camberwell. With figure of St. Paul. 

Designed by William Morris Facing 48 

Painted Glass in Jesus College, Cambridge. Designed by Sir E. Burne- 
Jones, Bart. (2 plates) Facing 54 

Painted Glass in Christ Church, Oxford. Designed by Sir E. Burne-Jones, 

Bart. (2 plates) Facing 56 

The Works at Merton Abbey. From a drawing by H. P. Clifford . . 95 

Angels in Adoration. Cartoons for Wall Decoration, in the possession 

of Mr. C. Fairfax Murray 100 

Kelmscott Manor. Entrance Front. The Frontispiece of the Kelmscott 

Press edition of " News from Nowhere." Drawn by C. M. Gere in 
Kelmscott Manor. From the Garth. From a drawing by R.J. Williams 112 
Kelmscott Manor. Back of the House. From a drawing by R.J. Williams 113 
Kelmscott Manor. From the Meadow at the back. Drawn by E. H. 

New for " The Quest " 114 

Kelmscott Manor. The Tapestry Room. From a drawing by R.J.Williams 116 
Kelmscott Manor. Bed with hangings designed by Mrs. Sparling. From 

a drawing by R. J. Williams 117 

Kelmscott Manor. The Attics. From a drawing by R. J. Williams . 118 
Kelmscott House, Upper Mall, Hammersmith. From a drawing by H. P. 

Clifford 119 

ix c 

Kelmscott Press. 
Kelmscott Press. 
Kelmscott Press. 
Kelmscott Press. 

Kelmscott Press Mark 


Two pages from the Chaucer 162 and 163 


Device on the title-page of " The Earthly Paradise " . 

Exterior of the Kelmscott Press. From a drawing by H. P. Clifford 

Kelmscott Press. First page of " Poems by the Way " 

Kelmscott Press. Title-page of " The History of Godefrey of Boloyne 

Kelmscott Press. Part of page from " Godefrey of Boloyne " . 

Kelmscott Press Mark 

Kelmscott Press. Title-page of " A Tale of Over Sea " 

Title-page of "The Tale of Beowulf" . 
Page from " The Well at the World's End " 
Title-page of " Hand and Soul " .... 




Plate I. 





























Angel with Scroll. Cartoon for decorative Painting, from the original 

in the possession of Mr. C. Fairfax Murray. 
Hand-Painted Tiles. Rose Pattern. 
Hand-Painted Tiles. Daisy Pattern. 
Wall-Paper. The Daisy Design. 
Wall-Paper. The Trellis Design (the Birds designed by Philip 

Ceiling Paper. 

The Marigold Design. 
The Vine Design. 
The Acanthus Design. 
The Apple Design. 

Specially designed for St. James's Palace. 
Specially designed for St. James's Palace. 

Wall-Paper. The Wild Tulip Design. 

Wall-Paper. The Bruges Design. 

■Wall-Paper. The Pink and Rose Design. 

Chintzes. The Bird and Anemone, and The Strawberry Thief 

Chintz. The Honeysuckle Design. 
Chintz. The Wandle Design. 
Chintz. The Wey Design. 
Printed Velveteen. The Acanthus Design. 
Printed Velveteen. The Cherwell Design. 
Velvet Broche with Gold Tissue. 
Silk. The St. James Design. 
Silk. The Kennet Design. 
Silk. The Cross-twigs Design. 

Woven Wool Tapestry. The Tulip and Rose Design. 
Woven Silk and Wool Tapestry. The Anemone Design. 
Woven Wool Tapestry. The Bird and Vine Design. 
Woven Wool Tapestry. The Peacock and Dragon Design. 
Woven Silk and Wool Tapestry. The Dove and Rose Design. 
Kidderminster Carpet. The Lily Design. 
Sketch Design for Hammersmith Carpet. Small Bar Pattern. 


Plate XXXII. Sketch Design for Hammersmith Carpet. The Little Flowers 

XXXIII. Sketch Design for Hammersmith Carpet. Buller's Wood Pattern. 

XXXIV. Hammersmith Carpet. The Black Tree Pattern. 
XXXV. Hammersmith Carpet. The Little Tree Pattern. 

XXXVI. Hammersmith Carpet. Detail of the Redcar Pattern. 
XXXVII. Arras Tapestry. The Orchard. 
XXXVIII. Arras Tapestry. The Woodpecker. 

XXXIX. Embroidered Hanging. Executed in coloured silks upon yellow 
XL. Bookbinding in Gold Stamped Leather. 

The drawings of Kelmscott Manor were made from photographs taken by 
Mr. Frederick H. Evans, by whose kind permission they are here included. 
Those of the exterior of The Red House, from photographs, and of the interior, 
on the spot, by the courtesy of its present owner, Mr. Charles Holme. 

The coloured plates have all been prepared by Messrs. W. Griggs and Sons, 
from original drawings (or the actual fabrics), kindly lent by Messrs. Morris 
and Co. and Mr. C. Fairfax Murray. 

The collotypes (namely, " Angels in Adoration " and the six Windows) are 
produced by Mr. James Hyatt ; the photogravure portrait is by the Swan 
Electric Engraving Co., from a negative by Messrs. Elliott and Fry. 

The reproductions in collotype from painted glass are from negatives 
specially taken by Messrs. Sarony and Co., Scarborough, Mr. Wheeler, Oxford, 
Mr. Lord, Cambridge, and Mr. James Hyatt. 

The end papers are reduced from a design made by the author for the 
Spitalfields Silk Association, by whose permission it is here reproduced. 

The Initials of the Dedication, the Preface, and Chapters One and Eight 
were designed by the author specially for this work. The rest of the initials 
are from a volume entitled, " Preservation of Body, Soul, Honour, and Goods," 
printed at Nuremberg in 1489. 



HAT are you ? " 

" I am an artist and a literary 
man, pretty well known, I think, 
throughout Europe." 

It was on 21st September, 1885, 
when some few members of the 
Socialist League and others, having 
tried on the previous day to test 
the right of public speaking, were 
charged at the Thames Police 
Court with resisting the police whilst in the execution of their 
duty, and also with obstructing the highway. Mr. William Morris 
was present during the hearing of the case and subsequently was 
placed at the bar for alleged disorderly behaviour in court. The 
prosecution failing to make out a case against him, beyond the 
fact, which he himself confessed, that he was carried away by 
his feelings so far as to exclaim "shame" on the passing of the 
sentence upon the prisoners, he was dismissed accordingly. The 
above is the description Mr. Morris gave of himself in the course 
of his examination by the magistrate on this same occasion. In 
the daily press at the time there were not wanting some sneering 
remarks about the artist's " European reputation." Neverthe- 
less Mr. Morris's was no empty boast. Rather his own estimate 
was considerably below the mark. For there needed not the past 
ten years to spread his fame so much more widely but that, 
even in 1885, he might justly have claimed, had he so chosen, to 
be known in the four continents. No quarter of the globe but 
contains either stained glass, carpets, tapestries, or other works 
of art from the firm of Morris and Co., and as for Mr. Morris's 
numerous writings in prose and verse, the extent of their circula- 
tion is certainly not confined to the limits of the English-speaking 

How widely his 'works are studied and esteemed in the 
United States of America, the numerous articles that have 
appeared in different periodicals and reviews in New York and 
in Boston, in Baltimore, in Cambridge, Mass., and in New 
Haven bear witness. And as to France, which has so long 
assumed itself, and has by too many among ourselves been 
accepted as being the most artistic nation in the world, there 
is a growing dissatisfaction with its own performances, and a 

1 B 

corresponding recognition of the superiority of the English 
school of decoration with Mr. Morris at its head. 

In this regard a significant fact may be noted. A well- 
known French critic, in a notice of the new postage stamp 
and its designer, suggests that now, in the person of Eugene 
Grasset, a fitting object of artistic homage may be found nearer 
home than William Morris. So completely does the writer 
treat it as beyond question that, but for the genius discovered 
thus tardily in their midst, his countrymen must yield the 
highest place of honour to the English master before any of 
their own people. 

Of Welsh extraction, William Morris, the eldest son of his 
parents, was born in Clay Street, in the village of Walthamstow, 
Essex, in the year 1834. As many a one beside must with 
gratitude own to having done, he imbibed his first impressions, 
acquired his first taste for art and romance, from Sir Walter 
Scott. For this writer he always cherished an enthusiastic 
admiration, wherein he would not submit to be outdone even 
by John Ruskin. Mr. Morris could not recall a time when he was 
unable to read, and, by the early age of seven, had read the greater 
part, if not indeed every word of Scott's works. From Scott it 
was, in the first place, that he learned to love Gothic architecture, 
though not, be it remarked, to apologize for loving it. But since 
it is best to convey Mr. Morris's association of ideas in his own 
words, let him speak for himself. '.' How well I remember as 
a boy," he says, " my first acquaintance with a room hung 
with faded greenery at Queen Elizabeth's Lodge, by Chingford 
Hatch, in Epping Forest, and the impression of romance that 
it made upon me ! a feeling that always comes back on me 
when I read, as I often do, Sir Walter Scott's 'Antiquary,' and 
come to the description of the green room at Monkbarns, 
amongst which the novelist has with such exquisite cunning 
of art imbedded the fresh and glittering verses of the summer 
poet Chaucer." 

Elsewhere Mr. Morris speaks of other pleasant reminiscences, 
when, referring to the late Dr. Neale's carol of " Good King 
Wenceslas," he says, " The legend itself is pleasing and a genuine 
one, and the Christmas-like quality of it, recalling the times of 
my boyhood, appeals to me at least as a happy memory of past 
days." On the other hand the influences surrounding him in his 
public school career, previously to which he had been sent to 
Forest School in his native place, left a less agreeable if not less 
enduring impression. " I was educated at Marlborough under 
clerical masters, and I naturally rebelled against them." 

William Morris was not above fourteen years old when, 
about the year 1845, according to his own reckoning, was wit- 
nessed "the first general appearance of the Pre-Raphaelites 
before the public." But the time for him to come under their 
influence was not yet. On the contrary he considered his early 
training to have been that of a layman in the matter of painting 
and the other arts. " I remember distinctly myself, as a boy, 
that when I had pictures offered to my notice I could not under- 
stand what they were about at all. I said ' Oh, well, that is all 
right. It has got the sort of thing in it which there ought to be 
in a picture. There is nothing to be said against it, no doubt. I 
cannot say I would have it other than that, because it is clearly 
the proper thing to do.' But really I took very little interest in 
it, and I should think that would be the case with nine hundred 
and ninety-nine out of every thousand of those people who had 
not received definite technical instruction in the art, who were 
not formally artists." 

However, with Mr. Morris's undergraduate days he was 
destined to undergo a great development. The 2nd June, 1852, 
the date of his matriculation at Exeter College, Oxford, must be 
regarded as marking one of the most momentous events in his 
life. True, neither in his own time at the University, nor yet 
for a considerable number of years later, was there any sort of 
aesthetic tradition with regard to decoration of the rooms or the 
surroundings of the men. But for all that the genius of the place 
was more powerful then in the pre-aesthetic period of the early 
fifties to leave a lasting impress on the sympathetic and receptive 
than, as Mr. Morris never ceased to regret, it is now or probably 
ever will be again. The early zeal of the Tractarian movement 
had scarcely had time to cool, or to become diverted into side 
issues ; the University Commission, the Gaul within the gates, 
had not begun to carry out their reforming work. And as for 
the old city itself, it was still, comparatively speaking, untouched 
by modern "improvements" in the shape of new college build- 
ings and new schools. His own college did not present a new 
front to the Broad, neither had its homely old chapel been re- 
placed by a brand-new travesty of St. Louis's thirteenth century 
"Sainte Chapelle." Magdalen bridge had not yet been widened ; 
neither did tramcars, only less obnoxious in such a place than 
steamers on the Grand Canal at Venice, desecrate the High. 
Mr. Morris has on more than one occasion expressed his opinion 
quite candidly on the subject : " It is a grievous thing to have to 
say, but say it I must, that the one most beautiful city of 
England, the city of Oxford, has been ravaged for many years 


past, not only by ignorant tradesmen, but by the University and 
College authorities. Those whose special business it is to direct 
the culture of the nation have treated the beauty of Oxford as if 
it were a matter of no moment, as if their commercial interests 
might thrust it aside without any consideration. . . . There are 
many places in England where a young man may get as good 
book-learning as in Oxford; not one where he can receive the 
education which the loveliness of the gray city used to give us. 
Call this sentiment if you please, but you know that it is true." 
In another lecture he records how, while an undergraduate at 
Oxford, he " first saw the city of Rouen, then still in its outward 
aspect a piece of the Middle Ages : no words can tell you how 
its mingled beauty, history and romance took hold on me ; I can 
only say that, looking back on my past life," — after a lapse, that 
is, of between thirty and forty years — " I find it was the greatest 
pleasure I have ever had : and now it is a pleasure which no one 
can ever have again : it is lost to the world for ever. . . . 
Though not so astounding, so romantic, or at first sight so 
mediaeval as the Norman city, Oxford in those days still kept a 
good deal of its earlier loveliness ; and the memory of its grey 
streets as they were has been an abiding influence and pleasure 
in my life, and would be greater still if I could only forget what 
they are now — a matter of far more importance than the so-called 
learning of the place could have been to me in any case, but 
which, as it was, no one tried to teach me, and I did not try to 
learn." In another place Mr. Morris supplies further autobio- 
graphical details relating to the same period. " Not long ago," — 
it was in February, 1856, that these words appeared — " Not long 
ago I saw for the first time some of the churches of North 
France ; still more recently I saw them for the second time ; and, 
remembering the love I have for them and the longing that was 
in me to see them, during the time that came between the first 
and second visit, I thought I should like to tell people of some of 
those things I felt when I was there." However, as a matter of 
fact, he does not describe in detail any church beside that named 
in the sub-title of his article, viz., " Shadows of Amiens," wherein 
he strikingly anticipates by many years Mr. Ruskin's " Bible of 
Amiens." It was by the northernmost door of the great triple 
porch of the west front that Mr. Morris made his first entrance. 
" I think I felt inclined to shout when I first entered Amiens 
Cathedral ; it is so free and vast and noble, I did not feel in the 
least awestruck or humbled by its size and grandeur. I have not 
often felt thus when looking on architecture, but have felt, at all 
events at first, intense exultation at the beauty of it ; that, and a 


certain kind of satisfaction in looking on the geometrical tracery 
of the windows, on the sweeping of the huge arches, were, I think, 
my first feelings in Amiens Cathedral." Proceeding to describe 
the magnificent choir-stalls and the figure-subjects sculptured 
upon them, he says that those he remembers best are the scenes 
of the history of Joseph, and in particular that which represents 
the dream of Pharaoh. " I think the lean kine about the best 
bit of carving I have seen yet, . . . the most wonderful symbol of 
famine ever conceived. I never fairly understood Pharaoh's 
dream till I saw the stalls at Amiens." 

But to return to Oxford. It was surely something more than 
mere chance that there should have matriculated on the very 
same day at the same college with William Morris the man 
whose name must ever be associated with his, viz., Edward 
Burne-Jones, "of whom indeed," said Mr. Morris, in 1891, at 
Birmingham, the native place of the former, " I feel some 
difficulty in speaking as the truth demands, because he is such a 
close friend of mine." The two freshmen quickly became 
acquainted, and, discovering how many tastes and aspirations 
they had in common, were drawn together in intimate com- 
radeship, a bond which has continued fast and unbroken to this 
day. They shared one another's profound enthusiasm, it is 
scarcely necessary to say, for the art and literature of the middle 
ages. But that was not all. The Pre-Raphaelite movement, 
which was by this time steadily making its way, was not wholly 
unrepresented in the city of Oxford, where Mr. Combe, the 
director of the Clarendon Press and a liberal art patron, had 
already gathered together the nucleus of a Pre-Raphaelite collec- 
tion. Amongst other works of which he acquired possession were 
Holman Hunt's famous " Light of the World," and his less known 
picture, "A family of Converted Britons succouring Christian 
priests," and also Dante Gabriel Rossetti's beautiful water colour, 
" Dante celebrating the anniversary of Beatrice's death." The 
work of the latter artist only needed to become known to Morris 
and Burne-Jones to find at once a responsive chord in the breasts 
of the two friends ; for them to recognize in him the truest 
exponent living of their own high ideals. It is difficult to say 
which of the two conceived the more passionate admiration for 
the great Pre-Raphaelite master. In the mind of either no doubt 
remained as to his proper vocation, and both decided to devote 
themselves to an artistic calling; and that notwithstanding the 
prevailing bias of University opinion was decidedly adverse to 
such a course, if we may accept what one of their friends wrote 
in the "Oxford and Cambridge Magazine" in an Essay entitled 

5 c 

" Oxford." " The fine Arts," the writer remarks, " wherein Truth 
appears in its most lovable aspect, where are they? Mr. Ruskin 
says, bitterly, that only they who have had the blessing of a bad 
education can be expected to know anything of painting. Cer- 
tainly Oxford must bear a large share of the shame that in 
England the fine Arts are considered only as ' accomplishments ' 
for ladies, and Artists are held to follow only a superior trade." 
It was some time after Christmas, 1855, that Burne-Jones first 
sought out Rossetti in London, with the intention of becoming his 
pupil. Nor did long time elapse before he introduced his friend 
Morris to his new-found master. Following the latter's advice, 
Burne-Jones went down from Oxford without waiting to take his 
degree, in order to begin his artistic studies without loss of time. 
William Morris on the contrary, in no hurry to leave Oxford, 
preferred to complete his University course, and took his B.A. 
degree in 1856. 



ORRIS was, as has been stated, only a boy 
at Marlborough College at the date of the 
original formation of the Pre-Raphaelite 
Brotherhood, nor was he at any time later 
on enrolled formally in their ranks. Yet he 
did not hold himself so far aloof but that he 
became associated, like Ford Madox Brown, 
who neither belonged to the Brotherhood, 
with the most prominent members of the 
school in more than one early enterprise. 
In fact, to so large an extent was he influenced by them, that, if not 
in absolute accord with their aims and theories in every detail, it 
cannot be said that the standpoint from which he started differed 
in any material degree from theirs. Now their principles, as 
understood by Mr. Morris, and as set forth by him in the 
already referred to address at Birmingham, are briefly as 
follows : — Firstly, " the root doctrine, Naturalism," by no means to 
be confounded with Realism in the modern sense, for " pictures 
painted with that end in view will be scarcely works of Art." 
The Naturalism of the Pre-Raphaelites meant the deriving in- 
spiration direct from Nature, instead of allowing themselves to be 
fettered by the lifeless conventions of Academical tradition. In the 
second place, their work must have an epical quality; in other 
words, they "aimed, some of them no doubt much more than 
others, at the conscientious presentment of incident." The third 
necessity is the ornamental quality. " No picture, it seems to 
me," says Mr. Morris, " is complete unless it is something more 
than a representation of nature and the teller of a tale. It ought 
also to have a definite, harmonious, conscious beauty. It ought 
to be ornamental. It ought to be possible for it to be part of a 
beautiful whole in a room, or church, or hall. Now, of the 
original Pre-Raphaelites, Rossetti was the man who mostly felt 
that side of the art of painting ; all his pictures have a decorative 
quality as an essential, and not as a mere accident of them." But 
to add, for the fuller development of the school, what was lacking 
of "the element oiperfeEl ornamentation," to vindicate its position 
as representing " a branch of the great Gothic art which once 
pervaded all Europe," one other distinguishing feature was neces- 
sary, viz. : Romance ; " and this quality is eminently characteristic 
of both Rossetti and Burne-Jones, but especially of the latter." 
Is it permissible to go a step further and to affirm that all 


these excellent qualities were yet inadequate, so long as the con- 
summating quality, too apt to be overlooked just because of its 
very humbleness, was lacking? that one which, in default of a 
better name, may be called the domestic element ? Perhaps the 
difference it made was not so much one of kind as of degree, of 
the extent to which Pre-Raphaelite principles were capable of 
application, or ought properly to be applied, to other arts beside 
painting. It is due to William Morris that all arts were brought 
within the comprehension of one and the same organic scheme ; 
and herein he proved himself in advance of the Pre-Raphaelites, 
that he succeeded in making the revival of art comprise a wider 
and a profounder scope than they. True, one of them was a 
sculptor, others men of letters ; but excepting the production of 
the short-lived magazine " The Germ," until Mr. Morris joined 
the movement the function of art in their hands had been confined 
practically to the making of pictures ; and thus the best of their 
works, in the nature of the case, could affect the public taste but 
indirectly and to a limited degree. For a number of years such 
pictures as were exhibited by the painters of the Pre-Raphaelite 
school were to be found, as a rule, only in obscure galleries; 
many were not shown to the public at all, but passed direct from 
the artists' studios into the hands of private purchasers. In any 
event, not the many but the few could possibly become the 
fortunate possessors of original paintings. It is, therefore, a 
supreme achievement of William Morris's to have brought Art, 
through the medium of the handicrafts, within reach of thousands 
who could never hope to obtain but a transitory view of Pre- 
Raphaelite pictures ; his distinction, by decorating the less pre- 
tending but no less necessary, articles of household furnishing, to 
have done more than any man in the present century to beautify 
the plain, every-day, home-life of the people. 

That was a fitting tribute, paid in his official capacity of Vice- 
President of the Society of Arts, when, taking the chair at the 
reading of Mr. Morris's paper on the wood-cuts of Gothic Books, 
Sir George Birdwood thus introduced the lecturer : — " It is not 
only as a poet and an art critic that he is one of the first English- 
men of the Victorian age. When the decorative arts of this 
country had, about the middle of the present century, become 
denationalised, it was Mr. William Morris ' who stemmed the 
torrent of a downward age,' and, by the vigour of his characteristic 
English genius, upraised those household arts again from the 
degradation of nearly two generations, and carried them to a 
perfection never before reached by them. ... A born decorator, 
he knew that it is decoration that animates architecture, and all 


form, with life and beauty. But being also a trained architect, he 
from the first recognized that ornament was but an accessory to 
construction of every kind, from the vessels turned on a potter's 
wheel to the grandest creations of the builder's master art. Thus, 
and by his commanding intellectual and moral personal influence 
with his contemporaries, the future of English decorative design, 
in all its applications, was redeemed by Mr. Morris." 

But, not to anticipate, one must trace, step by step, the various 
stages by which this came about. Referring to the time when 
Mr. Morris found himself at the outset of his artistic career, the 
late Mr. William Bell Scott wrote : " Morris's first step in this 
direction was to article himself to George Edmund Street, then 
located in the University town as architect to the diocese " of 
Oxford. The very fact of his electing an architect's training 
proves how thoroughly William Morris, as compared with the 
others of the movement, had grasped the fundamental idea of the 
nature and essence of Art. If not the first of them to recognize in 
theory, he was at any rate the first to act logically upon what is 
involved by the principle that all true ornament must be derived 
from and allied to some archetypal form of architecture, not 
necessarily in so pronounced a manner as to be obvious at first 
sight, yet always in such a way as may be disclosed on analysis. 
To William Morris architecture is at once the basis and crowning- 
point of every other art, the standard by which all the rest must be 
dominated and appraised : again and again has he insisted that no 
sound art can exist as the common practice and possession of a 
nation which has lost its architectural traditions. Thus he him- 
self puts the case; — "A true architectural work is a building 
duly provided with all the necessary furniture, decorated with all 
due ornament, according to the use, quality and dignity of the 
building, from mere mouldings or abstract lines, to the great 
epical works of sculpture and painting, which, except as decora- 
tions of the nobler form of such buildings, cannot be produced at 
all. So looked on, a work of architecture is a harmonious, co- 
operative work of art, inclusive of all the serious arts, all those 
which are not engaged in the production of mere toys, or of 
ephemeral prettinesses." 

This, then, is the keynote of Morris's art doctrine, the secret of 
his own masterful power of constructive ornament. Whether or 
not he intend to devote his life to an architect's profession, no 
better education for an artist can be desired than that he should 
be strengthened at the beginning with an architectural back-bone. 
Consider for instance the one continental decorator who, beside 
the honourable exception of M. Serrurier of Liege, may be said 

9 d 

to share in any notable degree the aesthetic qualities of the English 
school, that is, of the school of Morris. Although it is true that 
neither does Eugene Grasset any longer practise as an architect, 
still when one contrasts his work with that which generally 
passes for decoration in the modern French school, the remark- 
able breadth and versatility of his designs must be attributed to 
the early discipline of his architectural training. 

Judged by the standard of the present day, Mr. Morris's choice 
of a master may be indeed not a little surprising. Nay, in view 
of Mr. Street's neo-thirteenth century platitudes, more particu- 
larly in view of his largest and most conspicuous performance, the 
Courts of Justice in Fleet Street, it is hard to imagine how, save 
by way of warning what at all hazards to avoid, there could have 
been anything to be learnt from such a teacher by the pupil so 
gifted. Mr. Morris, with generous loyalty, has indeed written : 
" As to public buildings, Mr. Street's law-courts are the last 
attempt we are likely to see of producing anything reasonable or 
beautiful for that use." And in addition it is only fair to recall 
the fact that time was when in cases of proposed " restorations " 
of ancient churches, etc., cautious and discriminating judges of 
these matters used to consider Street, among the contemporary 
architects, the most capable and the safest man to be entrusted 
with the responsibility of dealing with these precious handiworks 
that our fathers have bequeathed to us. Moreover, for upwards 
of five years, from May 1852, the date when, by the advice of 
Mr. J. H. Parker, he migrated from Wantage, Mr. Street had been 
quartered in Oxford. Thence he eventually moved to Montague 
Place, Bloomsbury ; but his residence in the University city 
coincided exactly with the space of Morris's undergraduate 
period. During that time and onwards Mr. Street continued to 
maintain the kindliest attitude towards the leaders of the aesthetic 
revival. " The Pre-Raphaelite movement," to quote the memoir 
written by his son Arthur Edmund Street, " found in him a 
hearty and earnest adherent, and one who on many occasions, 
by writing and speaking, impressed on his brethren the importance 
and propriety of their giving it all the moral support in their 
power. He felt truly that the aim of the young enthusiasts, who 
were striving for truth before everything, was, in their particular 
field, identical with the aim of the leaders of the Gothic revival in 
the field of architecture. His known views speedily brought him 
into relations of friendship with many of those who belonged to 
the Pre-Raphaelite group, or were in sympathy with it." So after 
all it is not difficult to account for the fact of Mr. Morris having 
been drawn to look for the realization of his hopes under Mr. 


Street's tuition. For a time, at least, he entered with enthusiasm 
into his master's projects. For instance, there happened an open 
competition of designs for a Cathedral to be erected at Lille. The 
announcement had been made in the previous year, 1855. The 
chief condition stipulated on was that the building must be in the 
French Gothic style. Morris's principal was one of the English 
architects who prepared and sent in designs. Contrary to usual 
custom, the several drawings were shown to the public before 
being submitted to the jury for selection. Mr. Street, accompanied 
by William Morris, took the occasion to run over to Lille for a 
few days' visit, and wrote home thence with reference to the 
designs. " We have had about three hours at the Exhibition. We 

are agreed naturally that I ought to have place No. 1 I 

really think I shall have one of the prizes. Morris says the 
first." The pupil's over sanguine, yet pardonable, expectations 
were not destined to be fulfilled ; for as a matter of fact Street's 
design, though not passed over altogether, was awarded only 
the second prize. 

It was a comparatively short time that Morris continued under 
Street's tuition. Not the least of Morris's characteristics was his 
remarkable gift of concentration ; and this, together with the 
astounding rapidity with which he used to go straight to the root 
of a matter and mastered in the space of a few months, or even 
weeks, that of which it would take an ordinary mortal as many 
years of laborious application to learn may be the bare rudiments, 
fortunately made it unnecessary for him to submit to be hampered 
overlong by the irksome routine of office-work. He preferred to 
sacrifice the premium he had paid, if by so doing he might strike 
out an independent line of action for himself. He never qualified 
nor entered the formal profession of architect. 

One circumstance, of no little importance in his subsequent 
career, Mr. Morris owed to the period of his brief discipleship, 
namely his becoming acquainted with his friend Philip Webb, at 
that time employed in Mr. Street's office, at the present day well 
known as an architect in practice in Raymond Buildings, 
Gray's Inn. 

On going down from Oxford in 1856, Mr. Morris settled in 
lodgings with his friend Burne-Jones at 17, Red Lion Square, 
where they shared a studio in common. There was, indeed, at 
the beginning of the next year, some idea of extending the menage 
so as to form a sort of college of artists working together with 
kindred tastes and aims, but for some reason or other, the 
plan was not found to be practicable, and so nothing came of it. 

Another event of 1856 was the appearance of "The Oxford 


and Cambridge Magazine," in the preparation of which, under the 
direction of Rev. Canon R. W. Dixon and Mr. William Fulford, 
Mr. Morris took a prominent part. Conducted by members of 
the two Universities, the magazine was issued in London from 
the house of Messrs. Bell and Daldy. This serial lasted exactly 
a year, being published in monthly numbers from January to 
December inclusive. Originally sold at one shilling per part, it 
has now become both scarce and valuable. Mr. Morris's own 
copy is kept secure under lock and key ; while that in the British 
Museum is to be seen only by the reader who, passing through a 
barrier into an inner room, remains under the immediate obser- 
vation of one of the library officials. The contents of the magazine 
consist of essays, tales, poems, and notices of books, all the matter 
except the verse being printed in double columns. One or two 
contributions are initialled, but not one appears with the full 
signature of its author. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who, however, 
was not connected with the " Oxford and Cambridge Magazine " 
for the first half year of its existence, contributed " The Burden of 
Nineveh" to the August part, "The Blessed Damozel," a version 
of which already had appeared in " The Germ," to the November 
part, and "The Staff and Scrip" in December. Among other 
writers were Vernon Lushington, Jex-Blake and Burne-Jones. 
But the largest contributor was William Morris, who furnished a 
series of short prose romances, and a certain number of poems, 
which immediately signalized their author as a man of extra- 
ordinary talents, on the strength of which it was not rash for his 
friends and others to whom his identity was known to augur that 
a brilliant future in the world of letters awaited him. It was 
evident that Ruskin had influenced him to no small extent, and 
also that he was imbued very deeply with the spirit of mediaeval 
romance. " Perhaps the best of Morris's tales in the ' Oxford and 
Cambridge Magazine,' " says the late William Bell Scott, " were 
' Gertha's Lovers ' and the ' Hollow Land,' but all of his contribu- 
tions were unmistakable in imaginative beauty, and will some 
day be republished." The poems which first saw the light in the 
magazine, with the exception of that entitled " Winter Weather," 
did in fact appear in the volume which Mr. Morris published two 
years later. But as regards the prose writings, unhappily the 
day for the fulfilment of Bell Scott's prediction has not yet 
arrived. Nor, seeing how severe a critic Mr. Morris was of his 
own work, and how sensitive he was on the subject of whatever 
he deemed immature experiments of his, was it probable that he 
ever would have consented to reprint any of his early writings in 
prose that were included in the "Oxford and Cambridge Magazine." 


And so they still lie buried, these " wonderful prose fantasies " of 
Mr. Morris's, " these strangely coloured and magical dreams," as 
Mr. Andrew Lang not inaptly calls them. If " Lindenborg Pool " 
may not be accounted among the best or the most original of 
Morris's tales, nevertheless there attaches to it a peculiar 
interest, because of its opening passage, " I read once in lazy 
humour Thorpe's ' Northern Mythology ' on a cold May night 
when the north wind was blowing; in lazy humour, but when 
I came to the tale that is here amplified, there was something 
in the tale that fixed my attention and made me think of it ; 
and whether I would or no, my thoughts ran in this way, as 
here follows. So I felt obliged to write, and wrote accordingly, 
and by the time I had done the grey light filled all my room ; 
so I put out my candles, and went to bed, not without fear and 
trembling, for the morning twilight is so strange and lonely." 
The above should not fail to be noted as the earliest published 
reference to its author's being attracted to a branch of study — 
Norse folk-lore and language, to wit — the knowledge of which 
he has done so much to extend amongst us that he may be said 
to have imparted additional distinction to the olden literature, and 
to have given it a fresh lease of life that shall endure, coupled 
henceforward with his own illustrious name, as long as the 
English tongue is spoken. 



OT more than nine months had expired 
when Morris, having thrown up his 
articles with Mr. Street, came to Town. 
Established there with his friend Edward 
Burne-Jones, at an age when, on looking 
back after ten or eleven years, he deemed 
| himself as having been "pretty much a 
boy," it was only natural that Morris 
should begin to enlarge his circle of 
literary and artistic acquaintances. In 
a letter to William Bell Scott in 1875, 
acknowledging the gift of a book of verse by that writer, Morris 
refers to these early days and thanks him for " the poems that I 
first found so sympathetic when I came up to London years ago." 
Rossetti, "the greatest man in Europe," as Burne-Jones then 
regarded him, writes thus to Bell Scott in the spring of the year 
1857, " Two young men, projectors of ' The Oxford and Cambridge 
Magazine,' have recently come to town from Oxford, and are now 
very intimate friends of mine. Their names are Morris and 
Jones." (How commonplace a sound has this introductory men- 
tion, and how little suggestive of the celebrity they were ulti- 
mately to attain !) " They have turned artists instead of taking 
up any other career to which the University generally leads, and 
both are men of real genius. Jones's designs are marvels of finish 
and imaginative detail, unequalled by anything unless perhaps 
Albert Durer's finest works ; and Morris, though without practice 
as yet, has no less power, I fancy. He has written some really 
wonderful poetry too." That " the powers of the two men were 
very distinct" is the judgment which, when Bell Scott came to 
know them, himself formed and left on record in his " Autobio- 
graphical Notes." 

Morris now set to work in real earnest, the preparation of 
his first volume of poems occupying no small portion of his time 
and attention. Nevertheless, he did not devote his energies 
exclusively to literature. In June, 1857, Rossetti writes again to 
Bell Scott, " Morris has as yet done nothing in art, but is now 
busily painting his first picture, ' Sir Tristram after his illness, in 
the garden of King Mark's Palace, recognized by the dog he had 
given to Iseult,' from the ' Morte d'Arthur.' It is being done all 
from nature of course, and I believe will turn out capitally." 

Rossetti was mainly instrumental, with others of Morris's 


friends, in founding the Club known as the " Hogarth," a name of 
evil promise — so one might have supposed — to any who seriously 
entertained hopes of the regeneration of English art. Mr. William 
Michael Rossetti is the authority for saying that " the original 
Hogarth Club was so named on the ground that Hogarth was 
the first great figure in British art, and still remains one of the 
greatest. Madox Brown (not to speak of other projectors of the 
Club) entertained this view very strongly, and I think it probable 
that he was the proposer of the name." But for this statement one 
would have believed that the choice of style could only have been 
one of those audacious whims wheretoward youthfulness, prone 
to paradox, will sometimes be drawn. Be that as it may, from 
its foundation and first meeting in July, 1858, down to April, 1861, 
when it was dissolved, the Hogarth Club proved a select resort of 
many distinguished men of the advanced artists and litterateurs 
of the time. It counted among its members, beside William 
Morris and the two brothers Rossetti, Mr. F. G. Stephens, who 
was Honorary Secretary, Lord Houghton, Sir Frederick Leighton, 
Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Col. Gillum, and Messrs. J. Ruskin, 
Ford Madox Brown, Spencer Stanhope, G. F. Watts, Arthur 
Hughes, Thomas Woolner, Hungerford Pollen, A. C. Swinburne, 
the Lushingtons, R. B. Martineau, Henry Wallis, P. A. Daniell, 
G. F. Bodley, John Brett, Eyre Crowe, Jun., Michael F. Halliday, 
W. Holman Hunt, Edward Lear, Val. Prinsep, W. Bell Scott, 
George Edmund Street, Philip Webb, Benjamin Woodward, 
and various other men of mark. At the picture exhibitions held 
under its auspices from time to time, works of the Pre-Raphaelite 
school were sure of finding a welcome. Moving, after no long 
while, from its original premises at 178, Piccadilly, the Hogarth 
then continued for the remainder of its existence at 6, Waterloo 
Place. It had no connection of any sort — it may be observed — with 
the Club which at present bears the same name, in Dover Street. 
The year 1858 was one "which seems," says Mr. George 
Saintsbury in " Corrected Impressions," " to have exercised a 
very remarkable influence on the books and persons born in it," 
since " the books (as biographers and bibliographers have before 
noticed) were unusually epoch-making." It was in this year 
that Morris published his first book. To be quite accurate one 
must not omit to record that the earliest work to bear the name 
of William Morris for author was a short poem, " Sir Galahad : 
a Christmas mystery " (Messrs. Bell and Daldy) ; but seeing that 
it only preceded " The Defence of Guenevere and other Poems " 
by a few months, and was incorporated in that volume, there is 
no need here to treat of it as a separate work. The significance of 


" The Defence of Guenevere," all things considered, has never 
perhaps been appreciated as was due. A young man, but twenty- 
four years old, Morris must be regarded for all intents and pur- 
poses as a pioneer in his kind. Tennyson's " Idylls of the King" 
had not as yet appeared ; nor ought it to be forgotten that at this 
date the published poems of Rossetti, who is generally accredited 
as standing to Morris in the relationship of master to disciple, did 
not consist of above a few occasional pieces contributed to perio- 
dicals. One has no desire, of course, to deny that the older poet 
had already written a number of poems that Morris must have 
heard or read privately. Indeed, he himself was only too ready 
to acknowledge his indebtedness to Rossetti ; whereof the dedi- 
cation of " The Defence of Guenevere," " to my friend, Dante 
Gabriel Rossetti, painter," is evidence enough and to spare, if 
such were wanted. But at the same time it must be borne in 
mind that Morris was before him in making the venture of pub- 
lishing a collection of poems that should court success or failure 
openly before the world. " This book was and is," says William 
Bell Scott, " the most notable first volume of any poet ; many of 
the poems represent the mediaeval spirit in a new way, not by 
a sentimental-nineteenth-century-revival-mediaevalism, but they 
give a poetical sense of a barbaric age strongly and sharply real. 
Woolner wrote to me at the time of publication, ' I believe they 
are exciting a good deal of attention among the intelligent on the 
outlook for something new.' " So recently, however, as 1895, Mr. 
Saintsbury could write on the subject of Mr. Morris, " It has 
always seemed to me that not merely the general, but even the 
critical public, ranks him far below his proper station as a poet." 
An appreciative writer, the late Mr. Walter Pater, in an essay on 
" Esthetic Poetry " (1868), while as yet only the first part of " The 
Earthly Paradise " had appeared, accounts Morris as the type 
and personification of the poetry of the revived romantic school. 
This new poetry, according to him, takes possession of a trans- 
figured world, " and sublimates beyond it another still fainter and 
more spectral, which is literally an artificial or ' Earthly Para- 
dise.' It is a finer ideal, extracted from what, in relation to any 
actual world, is already an ideal. Like some strange, second 
flowering after date, it renews on a more delicate type the poetry 
of a past age, but must not be confounded with it." The earliest 
of the modern romanticists, as represented by Scott and Goethe, 
had dealt with but one, and that the most superficial, aspect of 
mediaeval poetry, viz., its purely adventurous side. Later the 
elements of mediaeval passion and mysticism were embodied in 
the works of Victor Hugo in France and of Heine in Germany. 


But in "The Defence of Guenevere " Mr. Pater discerns "a 
refinement upon this later, profounder mediaevalism " and " the 
first typical specimen of aesthetic poetry." The book was in truth 
phenomenal. Its like had not before been known in England ; 
where hitherto, as Mr. George Saintsbury rightly remarks, " only 
one or two snatches of Coleridge and Keats had caught the 
peculiar mediaeval tone which the pre-Raphaelites in poetry, 
following the pre-Raphaelites in art, were now about to sound. 
Even ' La Belle Dame sans Merci,' that wonderful divination, 
in which Keats hit upon the true and very mediaeval, ... is an 
exception, a casual inspiration rather than a full reflection." The 
strange gift of insight displayed in the just named poem of Keats, 
and less fully in Coleridge's " Christabel," has perhaps no parallel 
in history, nor one in fiction, save in Rudyard Kipling's " Finest 
Story in the World." Even in the case of the two poets in whom 
it was manifested it was, as it were, an inspiration vouchsafed 
for the occasion only, to be immediately afterwards withdrawn. 
Neither of them was able to follow it up consistently : and 
Coleridge wittingly left "Christabel" a fragment. But with Morris 
the exact opposite v/as the case. His " Defence of Guenevere " 
and the three poems next in order in the volume were satu- 
rated through and through with the true and vital essence of 
Arthurian romance ; while the remaining poems savoured not 
less thoroughly of the very atmosphere of the middle ages. 
There was nothing that had found its way into these pages by 
haphazard, nothing sporadic ; but the whole book from end to end 
v/as alive with the antique spirit of the days of chivalry, recreated 
and quickened by the hand of genius. Withal there was some 
indefinable quality superadded of the poet's very own. And so, 
possessing as they did " the bizarrerie of a new thing in beauty," 
the " imperishable fantasies " of " The Defence of Guenevere " 
" did fill a fresh page in English poetry." Nor was he yet, it has 
been observed, under the influence of Chaucer, whose narrative 
manner v/as to inspire the poems Morris published later. 

Of the poems contained in " The Defence of Guenevere," &c, 
the following had appeared previously in " The Oxford and Cam- 
bridge Magazine," viz., " The Chapel in Lyoness ; " the concluding 
part of " Rapunzel," under the title " Hands ; " " Riding Together," 
and " Summer Dawn." This last, in its original form, lacked a 
title ; while the first line of it, " Pray but one prayer for us 'twixt 
thy closed lips," was now altered to " Pray but one prayer for me," 
&c. The poem " Golden Wings " is not to be confounded with the 
prose tale which Morris contributed with the same title to the 

17 F 

It is interesting, moreover, to note the interchange of ideas 
consequent on the intimacy of the group of artist friends ; their 
common studies acting and reacting upon them, and supplying 
some with themes for poems, some for pictures. Often it is a 
problem to determine whether it was the verse of one that 
suggested the painting of the other or vice versa. Thus the 
Arthurian legend, rhymed by Morris in " The Defence of 
Guenevere," was with Rossetti and his friends at this time a 
favourite for illustration. Not only are the wall paintings in the 
Debating Hall, the present Library, of the Union Society at 
Oxford, a case in point ; but a certain number also of sketches 
and water-colours of Rossetti's, belonging to this period, bear the 
identical titles borne by poems of Morris's, e.g., " King Arthur's 
Tomb," or the last meeting of Lancelot and Guenevere ; " Sir 
Galahad ; " " The Blue Closet," and " The Tune of Seven Towers ; " 
while other drawings, such as that of " Lancelot in the Chamber 
of Guenevere," are obvious representations of incidents described 
in the poetry of Morris. Some of these works of Rossetti's were 
actual commissions executed by him for Morris, from whom 
afterwards they were purchased by Mr. George Rae. Again, 
" Burd Ellayne," the central figure in Morris's spirited ballad of 
" Welland River," was pictured by Rossetti and became the pro- 
perty of the late Mr. J. Leathart of Gateshead on Tyne. In the 
way of reading, Pastor William Meinhold's wonderful romance of 
" Sidonia the Sorceress " was, to use Morris's own words, " a great 
favourite with the more literary part of the pre-Raphaelite artists 
in the earlier days of that movement." Their common delight in 
it produced, for immediate result, " two beautiful water-colour 
pictures of Sidonia and Clara von Dewitz " by Sir Edward Burne- 
Jones ; while on Morris's imagination it took powerful hold, as no 
one could fail to be assured who had once had the privilege of 
hearing him read aloud a passage such, for instance, as that 
which relates how Lord Otto von Bork received the homage of 
Vidante von Meseritz and his feudal vassals. Morris simply 
revelled in the description of the knights riding into the hall, 
each with his blazoned banner displayed ; and one can imagine 
how he would have relished giving the order, " the kinsman in full 
armour shall ride into the hall upon his war-horse, bearing the 
banner of his house in his hand, and all my retainers shall follow 
on horses, each bearing his banner also, and shall range them- 
selves by the great window of the hall ; and let the windows be 
open, that the wind may play through the banners and make the 
spectacle yet grander." This final direction was one which 
Morris knew how to appreciate to the full. Nor did the deep 


impression fade from his mind with the lapse of time, but was 
destined to take practical form years afterwards in a reprint of 
the book from the Kelmscott Press. Indeed, throughout the 
career of the two friends nothing is more striking than the close 
parallel presented in the subjects chosen by them for treatment in 
their several ways, by Morris for poetry, by Burne-Jones for 
pictorial illustration. But these are points which will have to be 
detailed later on. 

Meanwhile, to resume the consideration of " The Defence of 
Guenevere and other Poems." Strong as is the temptation to 
quote largely, one must be content with a verse or two to demon- 
strate certain charming characteristics of the poet. " The Eve of 
Crecy " contains two magnificent examples of that mode of poetic 
expression, dubbed "echolalia" by Max Nordau, and as such 
condemned by him ; a mode which, if few may attempt it with 
safety, is yet, in the hands of so consummate a master as Morris, 
unsurpassed for the peculiarly soothing and satisfying sense of 
beauty it produces. 

" Gold on her head, and gold on her feet, 
And gold where the hems of her kirtle meet, 
And a golden girdle round my sweet ; — 

Ah! qiielle est belle La Marguerite." 

And again, a few stanzas lower down we read : — 

" Yet even now it is good to think 

Of Margaret sitting glorious there, 
In glory of gold and glory of hair, 
And glory of glorious face most fair ; — 

Ah ! qiielle est belle La Marguerite" 

The refrains are always melodious and grateful, whether, 
as in the case of " Two red roses across the moon," they seem to 
have no necessary connection with the body of the poem, or 
whether, as in the case of " The Sailing of the Sword," on the 
other hand, they form, with slight variations from verse to verse, 
an integral part in the progress of the ballad-story. The same 
poem may illustrate Morris's gift of conveying, and that too from 
a point of view as fresh as it is convincing, the most graphic 
impression in the shortest number of words : e.g., 

" The hot sun bit the garden beds," 

" Grey gleamed the thirsty castle-leads ; " 

or this night-scene : — 

" The while the moon did watch the wood," 
from " Riding Together ; " or this :— 

" After these years the flowers forget their blood," 

from the poem "Concerning Geffray Teste Noire." Yet again 
take the refrain of the poem called " The Wind" :— 

" Wind, wind ! thou art sad, art thou kind ? 

Wind, wind, unhappy ! thou art blind, 

Yet still thou wanderest the lily-seed to find." 

What an exquisite thought is enshrined in the last line ! Here is 
a picture from " King Arthur's Tomb " : — 

" I gazed upon the arras giddily, 

Where the wind set the silken kings a-sway." 

And, once more, how perfect a description is the following, from 
" Golden Wings " :— 

" No answer through the moonlit night ; 

No answer in the cold grey dawn ; 

No answer when the shaven lawn 
Grew green, and all the roses bright." 

Nothing is wanting here. No paraphrasing of words, no further 
detail could express the sense more vividly or more completely 
than the poet has done in these four short, simple lines. 

It may not be amiss, before leaving the subject of " The 
Defence of Guenevere," to gather from the writings of some com- 
petent critics a few judgments concerning the work ; dismissing, 
before the rest, that estimate which is the least favourable. Mr. 
Henry G. Hewlett, in the " Contemporary Review " for December, 
1874, is of opinion that " Quaint archaisms of diction, forced and 
bald rhymes, wilful obscurity, harshness, not to say ugliness of 
metaphor, disfigure nearly every page." Having said this much, 
however, the very worst that anyone with any show of fairness 
could possibly say, he continues: " But a just and careful critic 
could not fail to discern that the singer was worthier than his 
song. He had so saturated his imagination with the glow of 
chivalric romance and Catholic mythology as to be incapable for 
the moment of anything beyond reproduction. But the receptive 
and assimilative power which enabled him to apprehend thus 
intimately the spirit of so remote an age, and imitate thus faith- 
fully the relics of its living literature, required only time and 


training to mature into one of the richest of poetic faculties. No 
sign of this power is more marked in the volume than the tone of 
naif unconsciousness which the writer has caught from his 
models. His personality is never visible ; he never preaches ; 
dispenses praise and blame but rarely, and then in accordance 
with a standard not of his own raising. With calm impartiality 
he sets forth in successive pictures the double aspect in which the 
love of Guenevere for Lancelot seems to have presented itself to 
mediaeval imagination, — the view adopted by Chivalry, and the 
view sanctioned by the Church. In 'The Defence of Guenevere' 
she is a Phryne, voluptuous, imperial, irresistible ; in ' King 
Arthur's Tomb,' a Magdalen, tortured by remorse and tempted by 
passion, but sustained by penitence and faith unto the end. In 
' Sir Galahad ' the portrait of the saint-knight is painted with a 
truthfulness that atones for whatever clumsiness of handling may 
at first repel us. He is represented as setting out in his quest of 
the San-Greal with sharp misgivings of spirit as to the career of 
chastity to which he must vow himself. He witnesses the tender 
leave-taking of a lady and her knight, and thinks sorrowfully that 
for him no maiden will mourn if he falls. He recalls the loves of 
Lancelot and Guenevere, of Tristram and Iseult, and is tempted 
to envy their happiness and forget their sin. But in the chapel 
where he passes his first vigil, he has a vision of 

" ' One sitting on the altar as a throne, 
Whose face no man could say he did not know, 

And though the bell still rang, He sat alone, 

With raiment half blood-red, half white as snow.' 

" Overpowered with shame, he sinks nerveless on the floor." 
Then are heard the tender accents of the Divine Wisdom con- 
descending to reason with His wavering servant. " The struggle 
in the youth's soul ceases ere the voice dies into silence, and the 
vision of the San-Greal is then revealed to eyes fitted to perceive it. 

" The minor poems, of which the greater number are ballads, 
bear the same marks of the writer's thorough sympathy with a 
particular era of history and type of literature. . . . His attempts 
seem to us as successful as any that have since been made. 
' The Sailing of the Sword,' which is the least imitative, and 
therefore the freest from affectations, approaches, perhaps, as 
nearly as a modern ballad can hope to do, the genuine simplicity 
of the antique." 

Of the latter portion of the work Mr. Andrew Lang writes, 
" Leaving the Arthurian cycle Mr. Morris entered on his specially 
sympathetic period — the gloom and sad sunset glory of the late 

2S G 

fourteenth century, the age of Froissart, and wicked wasteful wars. 
To Froissart it all seemed one magnificent pageant of knightly 
and kingly fortunes ; he only murmurs ' a great pity ' for the 
death of a knight or the massacre of a town. It is rather the pity 
of it that Mr. Morris sees hearts broken in a corner, as in ' Sir 
Peter Harpdon's End,' or beside 'The Haystack in the Floods.' 
. . . The astonishing vividness, again, of the tragedy told in 
' Geffray Teste Noire ' is like that of a vision in a magic mirror or 
crystal ball, rather than like a picture suggested by printed 
words. ' Shameful Death ' has the same enchanted kind of present- 
ment. We look through a ' magic casement opening on the foam ' 
of the old waves of war. Poems of a pure fantasy, unequalled 
out of Coleridge and Poe, are ' The Wind ' and ' The Blue Closet.' 
Each only lives in fantasy. Motives and facts and story are 
unimportant and out of view. The pictures arise distinct, un- 
summoned, spontaneous, like the faces and places which are 
flashed on our eyes between sleeping and waking. Fantastic too, 
but with more of recognizable human setting, is ' Golden Wings.' " 
Another critic, Mr. Buxton Forman, in " Our Living Poets " 
(1871), says of" The Defence of Guenevere and other Poems," the 
" volume has very striking affinities with the poetry of more than 
one contemporary writer. Mr. Rossetti's influence is the easiest 
to discern ; but there are also several attempts at psychological art, 
clearly indicating Browning's influence. . . . Connected mainly 
with the age of Chivalry in subject, every page is full of an ex- 
quisite tender feeling; and in many instances there is great splen- 
dour of imagination. . . . Several small poems are master-pieces 
in their way ; and every poem in the book is full of beauties. But 
such pieces as ' Shameful Death,' ' The Judgment of God,' and 
' Old Love,' monologues dealing subtly with the soul, have more 
real analogy with ballad poetry than with monologue poetry of the 
modern type, and would probably have been more perfect had they 
been executed in ballad form. In ' The Judgment of God ' in 
particular, the actual point of time whereat the monologue is 
spoken is anything but clearly distinguished from points of past 
time referred to. It is interesting to compare this piece with 
' The Haystack in the Floods,' which is admirably graphic in 
narration, and as complete and excellent in its degree as are 
some later higher flights of Mr. Morris. 'The Judgment of 
God ' is spoken by an evil-hearted knight about to engage in 
single combat with a good knight, who, as he fears, is to over- 
come him ; the mental material is the series of thoughts passing 
through the false knight's mind immediately before engaging 
in the combat ; and so mistily are some of the verses framed, 


that it is hard to know whether the facfts referred to in them 
have just taken place or are from the storehouse of old 
memories. . . . With Mr. Morris this want of perspicuity finds 
its preventive in direct narration, as in ' The Haystack in the 
Floods.' The subject of the poem is not in itself so simple as the 
other ; but, instead of either of the principal actors being com- 
missioned with the narrative, the whole is given to us in Mr. 
Morris's own clear objective style. . . . The physiology and 
psychology in the sketch of Jehane are alike excellent. ... It is 
probable that, were Mr. Morris treating a similar subject to this 
now, we should miss a certain fierceness that exists in it as 
matters stand. . . . ' Sir Peter Harpdon's End ' is an excessively 
clever little play in five scenes ; but it falls as far short of dramatic 
excellence as the monologues fall short of technical excellence in 
their kind." 

" Over the first fortunes of a newly-born work of art," writes 
Algernon Charles Swinburne, who, as an undergraduate at Balliol, 
had made Morris's acquaintance at Oxford in 1857, " accident must 
usually preside for good or for evil. Over the earliest work of the 
artist . . . that purblind leader of the blind, accident, presided 
on the whole for evil. Here and there it met with eager recogni- 
tion and earnest applause; nowhere, if I err not, with just praise 
or blame worth heeding. It seems to have been now lauded and 
now decried as the result and expression of a school rather than a 
man, of a theory or tradition rather than a poet or student. . . . 
Such things as were in the book are taught and learnt in no 
school but that of instinct. Upon no piece of work in the world 
■was the impress of native character ever more distinctly stamped, 
more deeply branded. ... In form, in structure, in composition, 
few poems can be . . . faultier than those of Mr. Morris, which 
deal with the legend of Arthur and Guenevere. ... I do not 
speak here of form in the abstract and absolute sense. ... I 
speak of that secondary excellence always necessary to perfection 
but not always indispensable to the existence of art. These first 
poems of Mr. Morris are not malformed ; . . . but they are not 
well-clad ; . . . they have need sometimes of combing and 
trimming. Take that one for example called ' King Arthur's Tomb.' 
It has not been constructed at all ; the parts hardly hold together. 
. . . There is scarcely any connection here, and scarcely com- 
position. . . . But where among other and older poets of his 
time and country, is there one comparable for perception and 
expression of tragic truth, of subtle and noble, terrible and piteous 
things ? Where a touch of passion at once so broad and so sure ? 
The figures here given have the blood and breath, the shape and 


step of life ; they can move and suffer ; their repentance is as real 
as their desire ; their shame lies as deep as their love. They are 
at once remorseful for the sin and regretful of the pleasure that is 
past. The retrospective vision of Lancelot and of Guenevere is 
as passionate and profound as life. Riding towards her without 
hope, in the darkness and heat of the way, he can but divert and 
sustain his spirit by the recollection of her loveliness and her love, 
seen long since asleep and waking, in another place than this, on 
a distant night. . . . Retrospect and vision, natural memories 
and spiritual, here coalesce ; and how exquisite is the retrospect, 
and how passionate the vision, of past light and colour in the sky, 
past emotion and conception in the soul ! Not in the idyllic school 
is a chord ever struck, a note ever sounded, so tender and subtle 
as this. Again, when Guenevere has maddened herself and him 
with 'wild words of reproach and remorse, abhorrence and 
attraction, her sharp and sudden memory of old sights and sounds 
and splendid irrevocable days finds word and form not less noble 
and faithful to fact and life. . . . Such verses are not forgetable. 
They are not, indeed, — as are the ' Idylls of the King,' — the work 
of a dexterous craftsman in full practice. Little beyond dexterity, 
a rare eloquence, and a laborious patience of hand, has been given 
to the one or denied to the other. These are good gifts and great ; 
but it is better to want clothes than limbs." 

Mr. Pater, in the work already quoted, says : " The poem 
which gives its name to the volume is a thing tormented and 
awry with passion, like the body of Guenevere defending herself 
from the charge of adultery, and the accent falls in strange, un- 
wonted places with the effect of a great cry. . . . Reverie, 
illusion, delirium : they are the three stages of a fatal descent 
both in the religion and the loves of the Middle Ages. . . . The 
English poet, too, has learned the secret. He has diffused 
through ' King Arthur's Tomb ' the maddening white glare of the 
sun, the tyranny of the moon, not tender and far-off, but close 
down — the sorcerer's moon, large and feverish. The colouring is 
intricate and delirious, as of ' scarlet lilies.' The influence of 
summer is like a poison in one's blood, with a sudden bewildered 
sickening of life and all things. In ' Galahad : a Mystery,' the 
frost of Christmas night on the chapel stones acts as a strong 
narcotic : a sudden shrill ringing pierces through the numbness : 
a voice proclaims that the Grail has gone forth through the great 
forest. It is in the ' Blue Closet ' that this delirium reaches its 
height with a singular beauty, reserved perhaps for the enjoy- 
ment of the few. . . . Those in whom what Rousseau calls les 
frayeurs nocturnes are constitutional, know what splendour they 


give to the things of the morning. . . . The crown of the 
English poet's book is one of these appreciations of the dawn : 
• Pray but one prayer for me 'twixt thy closed lips,' &c. It is the 
very soul of the bridegroom which goes forth to the bride : 
inanimate things are longing with him : all the sweetness of 
the imaginative loves of the Middle Age, with a superadded 
spirituality of touch all its own, is in that ! " 

Lastly, in " The Academy," just a week after William Morris's 
death, Mr. Robert Steele wrote : " Living as we do in surround- 
ings so modified by the efforts of its author, we cannot fully 
estimate the worth of this little volume. It is totally unlike any 
other of his works." This is perfectly true. " The Defence of 
Guenevere and other Poems " is but a small book, and were its 
bulk alone to be the measure of value, the amount of space devoted 
to it in these pages might well seem disproportionate. It is, on 
the contrary, altogether inadequate. For this remarkable collec- 
tion of poems stands alone not only in the literature of our age 
and of our country, but, what is more to the present purpose, 
alone also among its author's own productions. 



IS " Defence of Guenevere " finished and 
sent to press, William Morris did not 
rest idly. Before the work was yet 
issued he had applied himself, with his 
wonted industry, it must not be said to 
the composing — for the very idea of any- 
thing forced and artificial was foreign to 
the spontaneity of his nature — but to the 
inditing of more poetry ; the greater part 
of which, however, was suffered to re- 
main unpublished. Nor would it, maybe, 
have survived at all, but for the friendly intervention of Mr. 
Charles Fairfax Murray, who preserves the manuscript among 
the most valued of his treasures. Of the number of Morris's 
poems that belong to this early period, nothing has appeared 
beside " The God of the Poor," printed in " The Fortnightly," 
1868, and the song, " In the white-flowered hawthorn brake," 
which was introduced into the story of " Ogier the Dane " in " The 
Earthly Paradise." According to the author's original plan, this 
lyric was to have formed part of a long poem entitled " Scenes 
from the Fall of Troy," of which, as projected, not more than 
about a third was ever written. Among the other unpublished 
MS. in the possession of Mr. Murray is an additional scene to 
" Sir Peter Harpdon's End." Morris's old friend, Mr. Theodore 
Watts-Dunton, in an obituary notice in " The Athenaeum," says, 
" Morris could and did write humorous poetry, and then with- 
held it from publication. For the splendid poem of ' Sir Peter 
Harpdon's End,' printed in his first volume, Morris wrote a 
humorous scene of the highest order, in which the hero said to 
his faithful fellow-captive and follower, John Curzon, that, as 
their deaths were so near, he felt a sudden interest in what had 
never interested him before — the story of John's life before they 
had been brought so close to each other. The heroic but dull- 
witted soldier acceded to his master's request, and the incoherent, 
muddle-headed way in which he gave his autobiography was full 
of a dramatic and subtle humour. . . . This he refused to print, 
in deference, I suspect, to a theory of poetic art." 

And, moreover, Mr. Edmund Gosse writes in the " St. James's 
Gazette," within a few days after Morris's death : " It is said that 
vast sections of ' The Earthly Paradise' remain unpublished; 
and I can vouch for it that more than twenty years ago I heard 


the poet read, in his full, slightly monotonous voice, a long story of 
' Amis and Amylion ' (I think these were the names), which has 
never, to my knowledge, appeared in print. Rossetti used to 
declare that there was a room, a 'blue closet,' in the Queen's- 
square house, entirely crammed with Morris's poetry from floor 
to ceiling. This was a humorous exaggeration of that wonder- 
ful fluency which was a characteristic of Morris's genius." 

But the fact of the existence of certain unpublished verse- 
writings of Morris's, if not indeed known widely, was by no 
means a secret confined to the circle of his personal friends. 
Thus Mr. George Saintsbury, while avowing himself an absolute 
stranger to William Morris, declares that he has " been told that 
all the defaulting poems exist ; " and, in addition, a writer in 
" The Sunday Times," on the day following the poet's death, 
understands " that there is a large mass of unpublished material 
which may be found more or less available for future issue." 
This, no doubt, has reference to prose writings of Morris's as 
well as poetry ; but Mr. Saintsbury is clearly alluding to those 
poems which were advertised shortly beforehand but did not 
eventually make their appearance in " The Earthly Paradise." 

Further MS. poetry, owned by Mr. Fairfax Murray, com- 
prises a prologue to " The Earthly Paradise " in four-line stanzas, 
and a set of verses for the months of the year. All these portions 
of the work were re-written and other passages substituted in 
their room when the poem assumed its final state. From the 
MS. it would appear that even the very name was changed, the 
author having at one period an idea of calling it " The Fools' 

Another unpublished fragment is extant, being part of a 
poem " The Romance of the Wooers ; " and yet another work, in 
this case completed, a version of one of the most beautiful 
legends of Christian martyrology, viz., " The Story of Dorothea," 
dating from the time when Mr. Morris began to write again 
after the space of seven silent years or more that ensued upon 
the appearance of " The Defence of Guenevere." For so dis- 
couraging to the young author was the reception accorded to his 
first work that he had little enough heart to keep up his writing 
continuously, but turned his hand to other and more grateful 
occupations. His poems had, it is true, " found a few staunch 
friends," but, for the rest, " were absolutely neglected by the 
' reading public' " It is on record that only some 250 copies of 
the first issue of the work were sold. Therefore in stating, as he 
does in his " Reminiscences," that the publication of " The Defence 
of Guenevere " was " what gave Morris his proper position," 


Bell Scott must be taken as referring to the judgment of their 
own limited set. For he has to admit that, in spite of everything, 
" the book was still-born. The considerable body of perfectly- 
informed but unsympathetic professional critics are, strange to 
say, so useless as directors of public taste that they have never 
yet lifted the right man into his right place at once. After 
repeated volumes had attracted public favour," but not till then, 
a demand arose for Morris's earliest volume, and it had to be 
reprinted, the stock of " the original impression having been 
returned to the paper-mill." 

"At one time," says a writer who is described by Max 
Nordau as "an Anglo-German critic of repute," Dr. Francis 
Hueffer, the author of the memoir prefixed to the Tauchnitz 
selection from Morris's poems, " little was wanting to make 
Morris follow his friend Burne-Jones' example, and leave the 
pen for the brush. There is indeed still extant from his hand 
an unfinished picture evincing a remarkable sense of colour." 
The work referred to, which is a portrait study, depicts a lady in 
the act of unfastening her girdle. It is a wonder that this 
painting is yet intact, for its history, a somewhat curious one, 
is as follows. Left at Ford Madox Brown's, it was conveyed 
thence by his son, Oliver Madox Brown, and given to Rossetti, 
who kept it by him with the view of repainting it, because he 
was not satisfied that it did justice to the lady it portrayed. 
However, he never carried out his intention, and, after his death, 
the picture passed, with other property of the deceased painter, 
into the hands of his brother, William Michael. In this gentle- 
man's possession it might possibly have still remained, but that 
he, being informed of its rightful ownership within a few months 
of the death of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, took steps to have the 
painting returned to Mr. Morris. 

While staying temporarily in Oxford in the autumn of 1857 
William Morris met the lady, who, two years later, became his 
wife ; the marriage, appropriately enough in the case of so 
eminent a scholar of English as the bridegroom, taking place in 
the old Saxon-towered Church of St. Michael in the Corn. There 
is no need to attempt any description of Mrs. Morris, since her 
features have been immortalized in numerous drawings and 
paintings from the hand of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. 

Morris's engagement necessitated the providing a suitable 
home, with the preparation of which he was now busily occupy- 
ing himself. The house was not got ready in time for him to 
take up his residence there at his marriage, so he had to wait 
awhile, and moved in shortly after. In the meantime, a company 



of ladies, friends of Mr. Morris, used to meet at the studio in Red 
Lion Square, and, while he himself was doing decoration in oil 
colour, they, under his superintendence, embroidered hangings, 
&c, for the adornment of his future home. One of these pieces of 
needlework was taken eventually to Kelmscott Manor and hung 
there. It was powdered all over with a repeated pattern, a 
design of Morris's of the quaintest description, — birds, for all the 
world like those in a Noah's ark, trees as stiff-looking as the 
clipped trees in a Dutch garden or a child's toy-box, and scrolls 
inscribed with the motto " If I can." The whole of it was 
executed in Berlin wool (the only medium available, except silk, 
in those days before crewels and Tussore-silks had been intro- 
duced), not of course in the fashion which then prevailed and, it 
is to be feared, is not yet extinct, to wit, cross stitches on a canvas 
foundation ; but with a very different manner of working, in long 
and coarse stitches, as bold as effective. Another strip of em- 
broidery executed for the same purpose, of a floral pattern, drawn 
likewise by Mr. Morris, was given by him, after its removal from 
its original position, to Sir Edward Burne-Jones, and is now at 
his house at Rottingdean. 

The site Morris chose for his new house was an orchard at 
Upton, near Bexley Heath, amid "the rose-hung lanes of woody 
Kent." The highways of the county were dear to the poet 
through their having been trodden by the feet of Chaucer's 

29 1 

Canterbury pilgrims ; while its 
historic memories were illus- 
trious in his eyes, because it 
was there had sprung up and 
spread among carles and yeo- 
men the popular movement 
led by valorous John Ball. 

Morris was not his own 
architect. To build his house 
he employed his friend Philip 
Webb, who, however, in effect 
was merely carrying out 
Morris's directions, more par- 
ticularly in the design of the 
internal fixtures. The build- 
ing was given the appropriate 
name of "The Red House." 
It is remarkable as being the 
first example of the artistic 
use revived of red brick for do- 
mestic purposes. Picturesque 
and irregular of construction, 
it had an architectural char- 
the red house. the well, acter that distinguished it 

among its contemporaries of the ugly, square-box order which at 
that date seemed to be accepted almost universally. It was, for 
its time, a bold innovation, which cannot be said to have been 
without extraordinary results for good. Nay, as an experiment 
on the part of a man who had both the hopefulness and the 
dauntless will necessary to enable him to make a stand against 
the tyranny of custom, to William Morris is owing the credit 
of having initiated, with his Red House, a new era in house- 

Morris set forth his views on the subject of architecture in a 
paper he contributed to " The Fortnightly Review " in May, 1888. 
" The revival of the art of architecture in Great Britain," he says, 
" may be said to have been a natural consequence of the rise of 
the romantic school in literature, although it lagged some way 
behind it. . . . Up to a period long after the death of Shelley and 
Keats and Scott, architecture could do nothing but produce on 
the one hand pedantic imitations of classical architecture of the 
most revolting ugliness, and ridiculous travesties of Gothic build- 
ings, not quite so ugly, but meaner and sillier ; and on the other 
hand, the utilitarian brick-box with a slate lid which the Anglo- 


Saxon generally in modern 
times considers as a good 
sensible house with no non- 
sense about it." But, he 
continues further on, " Were 
the rows of square brown 
brick boxes which Keats and 
Shelley had to look on, or 
the stuccoed villa which en- 
shrined Tennyson's genius, 
to be the perpetual con- 
comitants of such masters 
of verbal beauty ; was no 
beauty but the beauty of 
words to be produced by 
man in our times ; was the 
intelligence of the age to be 
for ever so preposterously 
lop-sided ? We could see no 
reason for it and accordingly 
our hope was strong ; for 
though we had learned some- 
thing of the art and history 
of the Middle Ages we had 
not learned enough. . . . Any- 
how, this period of fresh hope 
and partial insight produced many interesting buildings and 
other works of art, and afforded a pleasant time indeed to the 
hopeful but very small minority engaged in it, in spite of all 
vexations and disappointments." How that hope was dissipated 
he goes on to show : " At last one man, who had done more than 
any one else to make this hopeful time possible, drew a line 
sternly through these hopes founded on imperfect knowledge. 
This man was John Ruskin. By a marvellous inspiration of 
genius (I can call it nothing else) he attained at one leap to a 
true conception of mediaeval art, which years of minute study 
had not gained for others. In his chapter in ' The Stones of 
Venice,' entitled ' On the Nature of Gothic and the Function 
of the Workman therein,' he showed us the gulf which lay 
between us and the Middle Ages. From that time all was 
changed. ... I do not say that the change in the Gothic re- 
vivalists produced by this discovery was sudden, but it was 
effective. It has gradually sunk deep into the intelligence of the 
art and literature of to-day." 




The above passages were 
written, it is important to note, 
some thirty-five years after the 
appearance of " The Stones of 
Venice." In the interval Morris 
had had time to recover from the 
shock of disillusionment. It had 
become evident to him that the 
splendid monuments of architec- 
ture of the Middle Ages, as well 
as all the minor arts, had been 
produced under, and owed their 
very existence to, circumstances 
totally different from our own — ■ 
to a set of traditions and a con- 
currence of forces, such that, if 
one or other of them could con- 
ceivably be resuscitated, would 
yet assuredly never again be 
found together in the same 
proportions and the same com- 
binations as of old. However 
unwelcome the truth, the logic 
of facts and of history was not to 
the red house, small panel of be gainsaid save bv " those who 

EARLY MORRIS GLASS (I2j in. x 7* in.) ..*? ,, , ... . „ at> 

in window of hall corridor. wilfully shut their eyes." To 
abandon oneself, nevertheless, to unprofitable bewailings for a 
vanished past that could not be recalled were sheer cowardice, 
as Morris perceived. So, once convinced that the causes of the 
dearth of sound art amongst us lay deeper than he had at first 
suspected, viz., in the very conditions of our modern social and 
industrial system, he determined to think the matter out and to 
devise, if it might be, a remedy for existing evils. Hence he 
learned to look for the fulfilment of his aspirations in the ideal of 
a future, wherein a reconstructed society should even surpass 
anything hitherto achieved in the most glorious of days bygone. 
" The hope of our ignorance has passed away," he wrote, " but it 
has given place to the hope born of fresh knowledge." Experts 
indeed were slow to grasp the full significance of the teaching of 
Ruskin, as Morris did not fail to record. And he himself, young 
and ardent as he was at the time, would naturally be as loth as 
any among them to accept conclusions so tremendous. Had the 
consequent lesson come home to him, and had his reluctance 
given way earlier than it did, it is scarcely too much to assert 


that the Red House might not 
have existed at all. At any rate, 
Morris built that once only, but 
never afterwards. 

The date of the Red House 
is 1859, as the vane on the top of 
the roof shows. " The only thing 
you saw from a distance," says 
Bell Scott in his " Reminis- 
cences," "■was an immense red- 
tiled, steep and high roof; and 
the only room I remember was 
the dining-room or hall, which 
seemed to occupy the whole area 
of the mansion. It had a fixed 
settle all round the walls, a 
curious music-gallery entered by 
a stair outside the room, break- 
ing out high upon the gable, and 
no furniture but a long table of 
oak reaching nearly from end to 
end. This vast, empty hall was 
painted coarsely in bands of wild 

foliage over both wall and ceil- 
:„„ ,„t,:„i, „..„,, «^«« *;™i,„« „„^ the red house, small panel of 
ing, which was open-timber and early morris glass (124 in. x 74 in.) 
lofty." (There are some obvious IN window of hall corridor. 
mistakes here. Bell Scott, though right enough in his impres- 
sion of the general effect of the furnishing and so on, is decidedly 
wrong in detail. In fact, he confounds the features of two 
separate rooms, and would lead one to suppose, from the way he 
speaks of them, that all were to be found together in one apart- 
ment.) "The adornment," he continues, "had a novel, not to 
say striking, character. . . . Morris did whatever seemed good to 
him unhesitatingly, and it has been very good." 

The following account is based on notes supplied by one who 
used to know the house in the old days. " The first sight of the 
Red House in 1863," says this writer, "gave me an astonished 
pleasure. The deep red colour, the great sloping, tiled roofs ; 
the small-paned windows ; the low, wide porch and massive 
door ; the surrounding garden divided into many squares, hedged 
by sweetbriar or wild rose, each enclosure with its own parti- 
cular show of flowers ; on this side a green alley with a bowling 
green, on that orchard walks amid gnarled old fruit-trees ; — all 
struck me as vividly picturesque and uniquely original." In the 

33 k 

grass-plot at the back of 
the house is a covered well, 
with a quaint conical roof. 
" Upon entering the porch, 
the hall appeared to one 
accustomed to the narrow, 
straight ugliness of the 
usual middle-class dwell- 
ing of those days as being 
grand and severely simple. 
A solid oak table with 
trestle-like legs stood in 
the middle of the red-tiled 
floor, while a fireplace 
gave a hospitable look to 
the hall place." To the 
left, close to the foot of 
the stairs, is a wooden 
partition, panelled with 
leaded panes of plain glass 
of antique quality. This 
screen divides the main 

TH* RED HOUSE hal1 fr ° m S leSSel * h&11 OT 

buffet in the dining-room, corridor, which leads, at 
right angles, into the garden and is lighted by windows of glass 
quarries decorated with various kinds of birds and other devices. 
In the centre of two of these windows are single figure panels ; 
the one representing Love, in a rich red tunic, flames of fire at 
his back, and a stream of water traversing the flowery sward at 
his feet ; the other, Fate, robed to the feet in green, with a wheel 
of fortune in her hand. 

Immediately to the right as one enters the hall is a wooden 
structure, the lower part projecting to form a bench seat ; the 
upper part being a press or cupboard, with unfinished colour 
decorations. On the outside of the two doors of it are figure 
compositions, sketched in, and begun in oils, but left in- 
complete : while inside are some interesting experiments in 
diapering in black on a gold ground, by Mr. Morris's hand. 
Beyond this press is "the door of the dining room, the living 
room in fact. This is a long room and lies parallel to the hall. 
The fireplace stands out in the middle of the wall facing the 
entrance." It is of brick and, like the rest of the fireplaces in. the 
house, is not provided with a mantelshelf, the chimney-breast of 
brick going straight up to within a short distance of the ceiling, 


where it finishes off with a 
coved top. Near the door, and 
occupying the greater part of 
the wall space to the left as 
one enters the room, a promi- 
nent feature " was a wide 
dresser which reached to the 
ceiling and was ornamented 
richly with painted decoration. 
By the fireplace stood a mov- 
able settle, with high back, the 
panels of it filled with leather, 
gilt and coloured. The chairs 
were plain black, with rush 
seats." Commonly accepted 
as is the use of this simple 
and picturesque form of chair 
at the present day, its revival 
is due to Mr. Morris's example. 
"The walls were tinted with 
pale distemper, and the ceiling 
ornamented by hand in yellow 
on white." The manner in 
which the ceiling decoration 
is carried out in this room and 
other parts of the house is 
most ingenious and effective. 
The pattern, a conventional 
repeat of the simplest form, 
was pricked upon the plaster, 
while yet moist and unhard- 
ened, the spaces between the 
pricked outlines being after- 
wards filled in with a flat tint _ 
of distemper colour, bright, but THE RED house. 
not so strongly pronounced as landing at the head of the stairs. 
to be staring, or in any degree disagreeable. 

Opposite to the front door, beneath an open pyramidal sort of 
lantern roof, rises the wide oaken staircase, with Gothic newel- 
posts at the angles; the underneath part of it not boxed in, as 
the ordinary custom is to conceal the construction, but left open 
and showing the form of the steps from below. " Upstairs — only 
one floor — above the dining room is the drawing room, with a 
decorated, open roof." The fireplace of brick with an open 


hearth, was provided with a brick hood, which sloped narrowing 
to the roof. " To the left of the fireplace was a dais alcove with 
windows and window-seats. But the chief means of lighting 
was a large window at the end of the room furthest from the 
door. Facing the window was the most important feature of the 
room, viz., a great bookcase or cabinet — one scarcely knows 
how to describe it correctly. This painted cabinet, of which the 
effect was gorgeous, nearly filled the end of the room, while at 
one side was a wooden ladder stair-way by which one could 
mount to the upper part of it and find room to sit or move about 
on the top, as on a balcony. From this stage another short 
ladder led into a storage-loft in the roof beyond." 

" The walls of the principal bedroom were hung with em- 
broidered serge. Here also stood a splendid wardrobe," decorated 
all over with gilding and colour, a wedding present painted and 
given by Burne-Jones. Morris himself executed part of the 
decoration on the inner folds of the doors. The subject which 
covers the front of this wardrobe is " The Prioress's Tale " from 
Chaucer ; perhaps to the modern reader the most familiar of all 
the " Canterbury Tales," through Wordsworth's popularized 
version of it. The legend is not to be confounded with that of 
Little St. Hugh of Lincoln, though there are certain points in 
common. The various scenes of the story are represented, as 
was customary with mediaeval artists, all in the same picture, 
the principal subject being on a larger scale than the rest and 
occupying the foremost place in the composition. It depicts the 
Blessed Virgin stooping over the pit which contains the body of 
the murdered boy, and placing on his tongue a grain which 
should enable him in death to continue singing " Alma Redemp- 
toris Mater " to her praise. 

Towards the end of the year i860 Burne-Jones, while on a 
visit at the Red House, commenced a series of paintings in 
tempera upon the end wall of the large drawing-room there ; 
Morris also himself contributing somewhat to the decorative 
work, of which, however, the more important share was neces- 
sarily that undertaken by Burne-Jones. The subject was the 
mediaeval story of Sir Degravaunt, another of those romances 
which, like " Sidonia the Sorceress," had begun to exercise a 
powerful charm upon both the painter and his host. The charm, 
indeed, survived to the end, as was testified by the fact that a 
Kelmscott Press edition of " Sire Degravaunt," with a wood-cut 
frontispiece designed by Burne-Jones, had for some time past 
been in preparation, although unhappily Mr. Morris did not live 
to see it issued, dying as he did before it was ready. Only three 



panels, and these forming the last out of the set, were ever painted 
at the Red House. In one of them Burne-Jones introduced the 
portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Morris, seated side by side, in robes of 
state and crowned with coronets, in the characters of Sir Degra- 
vaunt and his bride in the scene of the wedding banquet. These 
paintings are not in a good position for light, but they are in good 
hands and well cared for, having been covered with glass to 
insure their preservation. 

Near about the same time, i.e., the latter part of i860, in a 
letter to Bell Scott, Rossetti writes to say that his wife has " gone 
for a few days to stay with the Morrises at their Red House at 
Upton, and I am to join her there to-morrow, but shall probably 
return before her, as I am full of things to do, and could not go 
there at all, but that I have a panel to paint there." The work 
was in oils, and it is said that one week sufficed for its execution. 
The subject of one of Rossetti's compositions for the Red House 
was the Garden of Eden. He also painted the first meeting and 
the last meeting of Dante and Beatrice ; in the middle, between 
the two scenes, being an allegorical figure of Love, holding a 
dial-plate in his hands. These panels were eventually removed 
when Morris parted with the Red House, and were framed in the 
form of a diptych. Morris did not occupy the Red House above 
six years. He gave it up at the end of that space and came back 
to live in London in 1865. 




3 T was remarked by Mr. William 
Michael Rossetti in the work contain- 
ing his brother's life and letters that a 
" detailed history of the firm of Morris, 
Marshall and Faulkner, or Morris and 
Co., would by this time" (1895) "be 
an interesting thing," but that such a 
record had " not yet been written." 
Nor maybe among those that now 
survive, except to Sir Edward Burne- 
Jones and Mr. Philip Webb, who, if 
any, should be in possession of the necessary particulars, must it 
be looked to furnish a full account ; especially of facts and 
incidents relating to the earlier days, when the firm was more of 
the nature of an informal association of friends working together 
than a business partnership in the ordinary sense of the term. 

To whom belongs the credit of having been the first to conceive 
the idea of the artistic venture that has developed since into the 
business of Messrs. Morris and Co., may not now perhaps be 
determined with absolute certainty. The initiation of the project 
has been attributed at various times to various members of the 
original firm ; but the balance seems rather to incline in favour of 
Ford Madox Brown as one of the patriarchs of the revival. 
However, one thing at any rate is beyond doubt, that the whole 
undertaking owes its success to the patience and energy, to the 
enthusiasm, the originality, in a word, to the genius of William 
Morris, whose name it bears. 

It has been shown how the furnishing of his own house at 
Bexley Heath had been made by Morris the occasion for exercis- 
ing his ingenuity in embroidery design, in ceiling and mural 
decoration, and in several other ways, and generally of acquiring 
practical experience in different branches of domestic art. But 
what he began then by doing on a small scale, was destined to 
engage him from that time forward for the remainder of his life. 

There is but slight necessity to enumerate the horrors proper 
to the early Victorian period — the Berlin woolwork and the bead 
mats ; the crochet antimacassars upon horsehair sofas ; the wax 
flowers under glass shades ; the monstrosities in stamped brass 
and gilded stucco ; chairs, tables, and other furniture hideous 
with veneer and curly distortions ; the would-be naturalistic 
vegetable-patterned carpets with false shadows and misplaced 


perspective ; and all the despicable legion of mean shams and 
vulgarities which have been exposed and held up to ridicule times 
without number. The memory of them, indissolubly associated 
with the geranium and the crinoline, is only too painfully vivid to 
the minds of many of us. It is sufficient to say that love nor 
money could procure beautiful objects of contemporary manu- 
facture for any purpose of household furnishing or adornment 
when William Morris undertook the Herculean and seemingly 
hopeless task of decorative reform, and wrought and brought 
deliverance from the thraldom of the ugly, which oppressed all 
the so-called arts of this country. 

Two years and more elapsed from the time the proposition 
was first mooted ; and during that interval not a few preliminary 
meetings were held, not a few times merely was the scheme dis- 
cussed, before anything like a definite working plan was deter- 
mined on. At one time two or three of those who originally 
constituted themselves members of the firm would assemble to 
discuss their plans at Madox Brown's house at 13, Fortess 
Terrace, (now Junction Road,) Kentish Town ; at another time 
at Burne-Jones's rooms in Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square ; 
at another time again at Morris's own studio in Red Lion 
Square. Morris is described by one, who met him first on one 
such occasion, as keenly alert and full of energy and move- 
ment, — altogether a most striking personality. There were other 
meetings, or, as they used to be called, " gatherings of the clans," 
at Madox Brown's house, for instance when himself took the 
chair and a larger number were present. Several ladies also 
who were interested as taking part in the work were present on 
certain occasions. At one of the general meetings, which took 
place about the middle of the year 1861, it was announced that 
rooms, for business premises, had been taken at No. 8, on the 
north side of Red Lion Square, W.C. " With a view," writes Mr. 
Ford Madox Hueffer, in his record of the life and works of Ford 
Madox Brown, " of starting a sort of co-operative agency for 
supplying artistic furniture and surroundings primarily to them- 
selves, but also to the general public, each of those present," it 
was agreed, " should lay down a stipulated sum. . . . The rules 
of incorporation were briefly : that each member should con- 
tribute designs for the various articles of use and ornament for 
which demand arose, and should be paid for his work in the 
usual course of events, before the profits, if any, were shared." 
Moreover, at the same time it was mentioned that Mr. Bodley, 
the architect, had promised to commit the execution of certain 
orders for stained glass and other decorations to the firm, 


provided they were organized so as to be able to undertake them. 
Proposals as to ways and means having thus already been 
formulated, the business, under the style of Messrs. Morris, 
Marshall, Faulkner and Co., was now definitely set on foot. A 
strangely assorted group were they who comprised the original 
members of the firm. Ford Madox Brown, Dante Gabriel 
Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones and Arthur Hughes, painters, the 
last of whom shortly withdrew ; Philip Webb, architect ; Peter 
Paul Marshall, district surveyor at Tottenham and engineer ; and 
Charles Joseph Faulkner, an Oxford don— these were Morris's 
partners in the firm. He himself was to undertake the business 
management and general direction of the affair. His father, 
before him, had been a man of business, and William Morris had 
inherited presumably some measure of his father's capacity. 
" Mr. Morris," says Mr. W. M. Rossetti, " came much the fore- 
most, not only by being constantly on the spot, to work, direct 
and to transact, but also by his abnormal and varied aptitude at 
all kinds of practical processes." Beside the partners, of whom 
all, as it has been stated above, were to give active assistance 
according to their ability, the staff at the outset was of the 
smallest. There was Mr. George F. Campfield, subsequently 
appointed foreman, whom Madox Brown and Burne-Jones had 
met some two years previously among the students in Ruskin's 
class at the Working Men's College in Great Ormond Street ; 
and there was also a man engaged to do the rough work of 
packing and so on. He, by the way, is the same who figures as 
one of the labourers in Madox Brown's " Work " at the Corpora- 
tion Art Gallery at Manchester. As the business of the firm 
expanded, others were engaged, as required, through the means 
of advertisements in a Clerkenwell local paper, in " The 
Builder," &c. But the scheme indicated in the circular, as below, 
was so unusual from its utter disregard of established conven- 
tions, and had caused so much dismay among trade circles, that 
men on the look-out for employment were for a long time afraid 
to come forward in response, being wary of identifying them- 
selves with an undertaking on the face of it so hazardous, and 
such that obviously was foredoomed to failure. The firm, on 
their part, were anxious to exclude the merely commercial 
element, and required of all who joined in their work fair 
evidence, at least, of artistic appreciation beyond the ordinary 

The first step the firm took to make their existence known to 
the public was to send forth a circular stating their aims. The 
purport of this document was that "a company of historical 


artists had banded themselves together to execute work in a 
thoroughly artistic and inexpensive manner ; and that they had 
determined to devote their spare time to designing for all kinds 
of manufactures of an artistic nature." In our days — so far have 
conditions been modified and views progressed — a notice of this 
sort would excite but little comment. Yet in the period when 
the decorative arts, as then practised, were understood to be a 
mere polite accomplishment for young ladies who had no better 
occupation to keep them amused ; and when also the line of 
demarcation between the gentleman, the man, that is, who did 
nothing to earn his bread, and the business man was drawn with 
uncompromising sharpness, it was not to be wondered at if the 
announcement came with the provocation and force of a challenge, 
and dumbfounded those who read it at the audacity of the venture. 
The amount of prejudice it aroused would scarcely be believed at 
the present time. Professionals felt themselves aggrieved at the 
intrusion, as they regarded it, of a body of men whose training 
had not been strictly commercial into the close preserves of their 
own peculiar domain ; and, had it been possible to form a ring 
and exclude Messrs. Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. from 
the market, the thing would infallibly have been done. But if 
from without there was much bad blood to encounter and live 
down, the enthusiasm that reigned among themselves and inspired 
the courageous little band of pioneers — for they were indeed no 
less than that — was such, that it is difficult to form any con- 
ception of it at this distance of time. Pioneers ! Nay, Morris and 
his fellow-workers must have felt themselves to be something 
far exceeding that ; — no mere Columbus was Morris, guiding the 
helm of his craft to the discovery and exploitation of some 
already existing land : — no, but since he and they that followed 
his leadership were actually constructing by their own efforts a 
new and unknown territory which before had had no being, theirs 
was rather the divine joy of creating, a joy that is given to none 
but to an artist, himself a creator, to appreciate. " Ah ! but those 
were grand times," remarked one who has worked with the firm 
from the very commencement. Furthermore, a thing rarer then 
than nowadays, there was an all but unlimited freedom of cri- 
ticism admitted on both sides, between employers and employed, 
a freedom that virtually amounted to equality of condition between 

The approaching International Exhibition in London, 1862, 
and the prospect of being represented worthily there, gave the 
newly-founded firm a definite motive for rallying together and, 
if it were possible, an extra incentive to strenuous exertion. To 

41 M 

meet the pressure of work thereby entailed, the staff of Messrs. 
Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. was increased towards the 
end of 1861 ; the new-comers being Messrs. Albert and Harry 
Goodwin and Weigand. The latter assisted Rossetti in the 
decoration of Mr. Seddon's cabinet, and was taken on ultimately 
as a regular worker in the firm. Finding themselves also in need 
of additional help in preparing the glass in hand for exhibition, 
the firm advertised in " The Builder " of gth November, 1861, for 
" a first-rate fret glazier wanted." This led to the engaging of 
Mr. Charles Holloway, who has since become a painter. 

Practically no particulars of the exhibits of Messrs. Morris, 
Marshall, Faulkner and Co. are to be gathered from the Official 
Illustrated Catalogue of the Exhibition of 1862, printed for her 
Majesty's Commissioners. It contains but two meagre entries of 
objects shown by the firm, viz., "Exhibit No. 5783: Decorated 
furniture, tapestries, &c," and " Exhibit No. 6734 : Stained glass 
windows." The report of the juries and list of awards witnesses 
that a medal (United Kingdom) was bestowed on the firm for 
their 'work in either class. In the case of the stained glass the 
award was given " for artistic qualities of colour and design," 
and in the case of their contributions to the class for furniture 
and upholstery, paper-hangings, &c, the record runs : " Messrs. 
Morris and Co. have exhibited several pieces of furniture, 
tapestries, &c, in the style of the Middle Ages. The general 
forms of the furniture, the arrangement of the tapestry, and the 
character of the details are satisfactory to the archaeologist from 
the exactness of the imitation, at the same time that the general 
effect is excellent." 

This recognition, scanty and inadequate as it was, from the 
authorities was not allowed to pass unchallenged. The hostility 
displayed in certain quarters was of the most determined 
character. Opponents of the firm even went the length of 
starting a petition to get the work disqualified, on the ground 
that it was other than it professed to be. In particular they 
maintained, and that with a dogged obstinacy which did little 
credit to their own acquaintance with technique, that Morris, 
Marshall, Faulkner and Co.'s stained glass was not new work or 
new material at all, but in reality old glass touched up for the 
occasion — that it was, in plain language, a fraud. But misunder- 
standings on the part of brother-artists and more bitter jealousy 
on the part of the trade were of little avail. The awards of the 
official judges were upheld. And perhaps, after all, the animosity 
of rivals afforded really testimony the strongest, just because it 
was involuntary, to the very remarkable qualities of the work 


which the firm, during so brief a period of existence, had 
succeeded in producing. At least one expert, Mr. Clayton, of the 
firm of Clayton and Bell, and formerly a fellow-student with 
Rossetti at the Royal Academy Schools, when he came to 
adjudicate, pronounced the work of Messrs. Morris and Co. to be 
the finest of its kind in the Exhibition. 

Before the close of the Exhibition orders were received 
through Mr. Bodley, then a generous friend and supporter of the 
firm, for glass for St. Michael's, Brighton, and also for another 
new church, built in 1862, viz., All Saints', Selsley, a fresh district 
formed out of the parish of King Stanley in Gloucestershire. 
The design for the latter church comprised some square quarries 
with fine circular ornament and delicate yellow stain, in the 
execution of which quarries Morris personally bore a share. To 
help in this work an ordinary glazier was engaged to cut and 
glaze the glass. Another order that followed shortly after was 
for glass for Bradford, Yorkshire. 

During their first year Mr. J. P. Seddon, the architect, had 
commissioned Messrs. Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. to 
decorate a cabinet made from his own design. This was one of 
the earliest works undertaken by the firm, and was included 
among the furniture shown at the Exhibition of 1862. It is still 
in Mr. Seddon's possession. "The subjects proposed for the 
decoration of this cabinet," says a note by the editor of "The 
Century Guild Hobby Horse," October, 1888, " being Architecture, 
Painting, Sculpture and Music, Mr. Ford Madox Brown suggested 
a series of imaginary incidents in the ' Honeymoon ' of King 
Rene by which to express them, that king having been skilled in 
all these arts ; Mr. Madox Brown himself designing the ' Archi- 
tecture,' while the other subjects were invented by Dante 
Gabriel Rossetti and Mr. Burne-Jones. . . . The cabinet ... is 
Gothic in character, and made of oak, polished and inlaid with 
woods of various colours ; the hinges being of metal, painted. 
The face of the lower portion, which rests immediately upon the 
ground and forms the greater bulk of the cabinet, contains four 
panelled doors, the central two of which project slightly beyond 
those which are at either end. On the panel of the door to the 
extreme left is painted in oils the design significant of Architec- 
ture. . . . Upon the gold background is a pattern of lines and dots, 
and above the figures is set the kind of canopy represented in 
mediaeval manuscripts," a trefoiled arch, the spandrils of which 
contain, within circles, shields with the arms of King Rene, &c. 
" This background and canopy is repeated in the three other 
panels. The dress of the king is of a purplish red, lined with 


blue, his shoes of scarlet ; while the white dress of the queen is 
edged with dark fur, and embroidered with red and blue flowers 
done in outline. The two panels of the projecting central portion 
of the cabinet were painted by Mr. Burne-Jones. In the first of 
these, the king is shown drawing the figure of a woman, as his 
queen stands over him ; in the third panel he is at work carving 
a statue, while the attitude of the queen would seem to express 
astonishment at his art. The remaining panel on the right, 
representing 'Music,' was designed by Rossetti. Here the queen 
is seated, playing at a kind of regal, or chamber organ, the bellows 
of which are blown by King Rene. She is in a dress of green ; 
and, as she is playing, a cloak of fur, lined with orange, falls from 
her shoulders, as the king bends over the instrument to kiss her. 
In the upper portion of the cabinet are four little square panels, 
painted with the half-lengths of girls variously engaged : one of 
them is at a frame, embroidering ; another, wearing a wimple, 
weaves a chequered cloth." Part of the decoration also was 
done by Mr. Val Prinsep. Yet another cabinet, produced later, 
should be mentioned ; a high one, for the design and execution of 
which the firm was responsible; the subject of the panel decora- 
tion, " Green Summer," being the work of Burne-Jones. 

But of Messrs. Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co.'s exhibits 
at the Exhibition of 1862 neither the least interesting nor the least 
beautiful was a piece of furniture, now in private ownership, a 
cabinet, raised on a stand and furnished with doors, both the 
designing and the painting of the four panels being the work of 
William Morris's own hand. His original pen-and-ink studies 
belong to Mr. Fairfax Murray. The subject is the legend of St. 
George, the series beginning with the royal proclamation and 
surrender of the victim to the dragon, and ending with the 
triumphal return of St. George with the rescued maiden ; it does 
not, however, include the oft-repeated subject of the combat with 
the dragon. While Morris was engaged upon this work at Red 
Lion Square, he received a visit from the master of his old school 
at Walthamstow, Mr. Guy, who was not only delighted but 
astonished at the work offered for the inspection of himself and the 
friends who accompanied him ; a fact which goes to prove what 
has already been stated, viz., that there was no tradition of the 
extraordinary artistic powers Morris developed when he grew up 
having been manifested or even suspected in him in boyhood. 

If Morris's position at the head of affairs at Messrs. Morris, 
Marshall, Faulkner and Co.'s had hitherto not been appreciated, 
the mark that, owing to his guiding genius, the firm made at the 
Exhibition left no doubt as to his importance. At a social gather- 


ing at the Red House, to which, after the close of the Exhibition, 
Morris invited all the members of the firm, partners and staff in 
a body, he seemed instinctively to be acknowledged with one 
accord as occupying the leading place. The entire direction 
thenceforward was virtually in his hands, and he applied himself 
unremittingly to the task. When, in 1865, the firm removed from 
their original quarters to No. 26, Queen Square, Bloomsbury, Mr. 
Morris left Upton and took up his residence under the same roof. 
The house being a large one, the accommodation was sufficient, 
and, by living thus on the spot, he was enabled to devote still 
more of his time to superintending the industries carried on by 
the firm. But although he was, for all intents and purposes, in 
command of the whole business, he did not become the formal 
and official head until 1874. In the summer of that year, the 
original partnership was dissolved, Mr. Theodore Watts taking 
an active part in the arrangement of the affair. Mr. Morris then 
bought out the other partners and himself remained as sole repre- 
sentative of the Company, styled thenceforward simply Morris 
and Co. A fresh notice was issued to announce the change in 
the firm and to explain that the character of its work would 
remain unchanged, Burne-Jones continuing as before to furnish 
cartoons for stained glass. But one must not anticipate. Towards 
the beginning of 1865 Mr. Warrington Taylor came into the 
business, in the capacity of acting manager under Mr. Morris, 
and was of great service to the firm, while he lived ; for, un- 
happily, in a few years' time he was carried off by consumption. 
He was succeeded by Mr. George Wardle, who had formerly 
acted as his assistant, and who remained in conduct of affairs 
from the death of Mr. Taylor for a considerable time — in fact, 
until within about six or seven years ago, when he resigned and 
went abroad. The names of some others who have, in the past, 
been workers in or on behalf of the firm may be mentioned : 
Messrs. Fairfax Murray, Charles Napier Hemy, James Egan, 
Fletcher, and the Misses Faulkner. 

With reference to the remarks in the official report of the 
Exhibition of 1862, it should be observed that in the early days of 
Messrs. Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co., their productions, 
though far from being merely imitative, presented a greater 
degree of resemblance to mediaeval work than they came to have 
in later times, when the distinctly characteristic style of Morris 
had matured. Thus, in the powderings and diaperings of 
draperies, backgrounds, &c, for stained glass, the firm, about the 
middle of the sixties, made some use of a collection of ancient 
examples of decorations copied from different churches in Norfolk 

45 n 

and Suffolk. These patterns and details of ornaments from paint- 
ings on walls and roofs, mouldings and carved woodwork, &c., 
including a series of figures of the angelic hierarchy from the 
rood-screen of St. Michael's Church, Barton Turf, Norfolk (date 
c. 1430), and some figures of saints, also of the fifteenth century, 
from Cawston Church in the same county, were selected and 
drawn by Mr. G. Wardle. Executed in pencil, and in many 
instances coloured, with a rare mastery of draughtsmanship, 
upon tracing paper, mounted on cards and enclosed in three 
portfolios, this valuable set of designs was acquired in the years 
1866 and 1867 for the National Art Library at the South Kensing- 
ton Museum. 

When first the firm started to execute stained glass, Mr. 
Morris himself had no practical experience of the technicalities of 
the art. Madox Brown had previously made but one design for 
the purpose, viz., the Transfiguration, for Messrs. Powell and 
Sons; while Burne-Jones, it is true, had already projected a 
course of instructions on the subject at the Working Men's 
College in Great Ormond Street, and had even designed a small 
quantity of glass, e.g., for Waltham Abbey Church, as well as the 
St. Frideswide window in the Latin Chapel at Christ Church. It 
fell, however, to the lot of neither of these, but to another member 
of the firm, Mr. Webb, to test the proficiency of their foreman, Mr. 
Campfield, who, having been employed for a short time by a firm 
of stained glass manufacturers, was entrusted with the getting 
together the necessary plant and with the arrangement of the 
working details at the commencement. A small kiln for firing 
the glass was constructed on the premises at Red Lion Square, 
and they set to work. Of course Mr. Morris was not content to 
stand by and watch other people engaged in a craft in which 
himself had no part. So he took up the work, and practised paint- 
ing glass quarries, with the rest. It came to be the custom for 
the choice of the particular diapers and borders for draperies, &c, 
to be left to the artist who actually executed the glass-painting, 
but it was reserved for Morris to determine the scheme of colour- 
ing in each case. And when also it is remembered that Burne- 
Jones was not in the habit of inserting the lead-lines in his 
cartoons, and that Madox Brown did so only occasionally, one 
can understand how much remained over and above for Morris 
and his assistants to do to adapt the designers' drawings in mono- 
chrome for practical working purposes. 

The stained glass shown by the firm at the Exhibition con- 
sisted of some few pieces for domestic purposes, ornamental 
quarries, and a set of seven panels, designed by Rossetti, to illus- 


Painted Glass in St. Martin's, Scarborough; 
designed by D. G. Rossetti. 

trate the parable of the Wicked Husbandmen in the Vineyard. 
This series was erected eventually in the east window of St. 
Martin's on the Hill, Scarborough, through the recommendation 
of Mr. G. F. Bodley, who built the church, and entrusted a con- 
siderable part of the internal decoration to Messrs. Morris, 
Marshall, Faulkner and Co. The pulpit was decorated by the 
firm, two panels in it being painted by Rossetti himself. The 
mural painting above the altar was also, in its original state, the 
work of the firm, but having fallen into a ruinous condition, it has 
since been completely repainted by local painters. " The first 
impression," says M. Olivier Georges Destree, a Belgian writer, 
in " The Savoy " of October, 1896, " given by the window of the 
Parable of the Vineyard, which lights the choir, is an impression 
of colour, dazzling and magnificent, velvety and harmonious, 
resembling the Flemish stained glass windows decorating the 
Gothic cathedrals. From the point of view of stained glass, this 
is the one I consider to be the most perfect. It has all the quali- 
ties which . . . were considered essential by Madox Brown, . . . 
and all these qualities are united in a high degree of perfection. 
In fact, when we approach this window and examine it in detail, 
we perceive that it is no less remarkable for its ingenious and 
original composition than for the sensation of opulent colour 
which it at first gave us. . . . Sumptuous in colour, ingenious in 
composition, the window of the Parable appears to be of a design 
more entirely and peculiarly Rossetti's than that of Adam and 
Eve, of which certain details seem to show the influence of 
Madox Brown." The subject of the " most beautiful and im- 
pressive " lancets, which are situated at the west end of the 
church, should be described more correctly as Adam and Eve in 
Paradise before the Fall. The date of them is 1862. " One is 
struck by the ingenious arrangement of the branches and leaves 
by which Rossetti veils the nudity of the bodies of Adam and Eve, 
for the rosy colours of the flesh look brighter in the violent con- 
trast with the uniform blue of the sky seen behind them ; and 
these ingenious contrasts give to these two nude bodies a vivid- 
ness of life which is rendered by no other stained glass window 
which I have ever seen. These resplendent bodies of Adam and 
Eve illuminate the church, and seem to give it some of their own 
life. The composition is no less original and new in its details 
than in the beauty of its colouring. Adam is depicted standing, 
picturesquely leaning on a branch of a tree with large sombre 
leaves, a fig-tree I think ; with the tip of his foot he amuses him- 
self by tickling a small bear curled up at his feet ; the blue sky is 
seen behind him, and sunflowers, flowering at the end of their 


long stems, expand at his right hand ; in the branches of the tree 
above him a curious and familiar squirrel watches him. Standing 
also, Eve has stopped in the middle of a field richly studded with 
small flowers and red poppies ; of the same fairness as the hair 
and beard of Adam, her unbound hair falls in an opulent stream 
over her shoulders. In her arms she holds, tenderly pressed to 
her bosom, a white dove, and in the sombre tree above, his eyes 
fixed and shining, an owl surveys her. The predominant colours 
of this admirable window are flesh colour, dark green and light 
gold." Mr. William Sharp, describing the same windows, 
says, " A strict harmony of colour is maintained between the 
rich brown of the bear and squirrel, the varying green of the 
trees and foliage, the light golden hair and the flesh tints of 
Adam, the yellow sunflower, &c. ; the same being observed in 
the Eve picture, where also one or two red flowers give a deeper 
contrast." On the ground, close behind Eve, crouch two tawny- 
brown rabbits. " Above the windows of Adam and Eve," says M. 
Destree, " the Annunciation, by Burne-Jones, which decorates 
the large rose-window, and the ' Angels playing musical instru- 
ments ' of the nine smaller roses which surround it, form 
with the windows of Rossetti a remarkable and charming con- 
trast. . . . White, azure blue and ruby are the colours principally 
and almost exclusively used " in this group of ten openings which 
form the rose. There is altogether an abundance of Morris glass 
in St. Martin's, including, on the north side, figures of characters 
of the Old Testament, and, on the south, of saints of the Christian 

Rossetti's designs for stained glass, however, were not very 
numerous. He produced a specially fine cartoon, which was 
executed by the firm, the subject being Christ in majesty, sur- 
rounded by angels ; but " his last composition of this class," 
writes Mr. William Sharp, was a memorial to his aunt, Miss M. 
M. Polidori, who died in 1867. It was erected in Christ Church, 
Albany Street, Regent's Park, and is the second window from the 
bottom of the nave on the right as one faces altarwards, " the 
colouring throughout being rich and harmonious." The subject is 
the Sermon on the Mount. It is divided into three compartments, 
each panel being surrounded by small square panes of white 
glass, ornamented uniformly with a many-petalled rose, painted 
with great delicacy in sepia, with yellow stain introduced here 
and there to heighten the effect of leaves and stalks. 

In the north transept of St. Giles's Church, Camberwell, is a 
two-light window, erected in December, 1864. An early example 
it is of unusual interest, not only because of the introduction of 



Painted Glass in St. Giles's Church, Camberwell. 

The figure of St. Paul designed by William Morris. 

■ ■ - 

canopies, a feature not too common in the glass of the firm, but 
also because, what is more important, the figure on the left was 
designed by Mr. Morris himself. It represents St. Paul, clothed 
in a blue robe, with white cloak, lined with green ; the diapered 
background being of rich red glass. The figure of St. John 
Baptist on the right, against a blue background, diapered in 
similar manner, has a red-lined white cloak over his camel-hair 
vest. The small groups below represent severally St. Paul 
preaching and St. John baptizing. Besides ornamental quarries, 
of which he produced a great variety, Mr. Morris's own designs 
for stained glass were but few. One of his larger cartoons for 
this purpose is in the collection of Mr. Fairfax Murray. The 
subject is St. Mary Magdalene, the pattern upon her robe being 
remarkably elaborate and beautiful. Far more prolific as a 
designer of glass than either Rossetti or Morris was Ford Madox 
Brown, who between 1862 and 1875 must have supplied, accord- 
ing to Mr. F. M. Hueffer's estimate, over 150 designs for the use 
of the firm. Among Madox Brown's cartoons for glass, beside 
two subjects from the Legend of St. Martin, for the church of 
that dedication at Scarborough, may be mentioned Christ blessing 
little Children (1862) ; Abraham and Isaac, Isaac blessing Esau, 
SS. Paul, Elizabeth, John, and Matthew (1863) ; a magnificent set 
of six scenes (designed in 1864 and 1865) from the life and death 
of St. Oswald, now occupying the west window of St. Oswald's 
Church, Durham ; a series representing the Legend of St. Edith, 
for Tamworth Church (1873) ; and two more subjects, the Incre- 
dulity of St. Thomas (1874), an d Christ appearing to St. Mary 
Magdalene in the Garden (1875). 

The church of St. Michael at Brighton, the very first which 
Mr. Bodley ever built, contains, in his opinion, some of the finest 
specimens of early Morris glass, designed, with the exception 
named below, by Burne-Jones. By the font, at the west end of 
the south transept of the original church — that is, of the church 
as Mr. Bodley built it ; for it has since been enlarged — is a two- 
light window, a memorial to Dr. Bodley, representing the Baptism 
of Christ. At the east end of the south transept is a small chapel 
containing two low windows of two lights each, the subject of the 
first being three Angels conducting Mary and Joseph and the 
Holy Child into Egypt ; the subject of the other the Angel with 
the three Maries at the Sepulchre. Above is a small circle with 
the emblematic pelican. But the most interesting and important 
glass is that in the west wall of the nave. The upper part is a 
rose window, which comprises a seven-foiled circle, containing 
the Madonna and Child, surrounded by seven smaller circles, 

49 o 

each with an angel, robed in dark green, striking a bell, upon a 
background of white quarries with yellow stained ornament. 
The lower part consists of two double lancets, each pair sur- 
mounted by a six-foiled circle, containing respectively St. Michael 
and the Dragon on the left, and the Annunciation on the right. 
The lancets represent four Archangels in the following order, 
reckoned from left to right : St. Michael, with shield and lance, 
St. Raphael, St. Uriel, and St. Gabriel holding a lily. The figures 
of these four lights, which have, it has been observed, a 
" mysterious witch-like glamour " about them, were executed 
from designs by Ford Madox Brown in 1863. Other early Morris 
glass is at Coddington Church, Newark-on-Trent. The east 
window was erected in 1865, and one more at the same time ; 
while others have been inserted at various subsequent dates. 
The figures are upon a quarried ground, without canopies. 

Mr. Madox Brown, in the preface to a catalogue of his ■work 
entitled " Cartoons for Stained Glass " (1865), sets forth the 
general rules followed by the Pre-Raphaelite painters in the 
designing of stained glass and the customary method employed 
by Messrs. Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. in the execution of 
the same. " With its heavy lead lines," he says, " surrounding 
every part, (and no stained glass can be rational and good without 
strong lead lines)," — a fundamental condition which, by the way, 
entails the condemnation of Sir Joshua Reynolds's glass pictures, 
howsoever admired by American visitors, in the west window of 
New College Chapel, Oxford, — " stained glass does not admit of 
refined drawing ; or else it is thrown away upon it. What it does 
admit of, and what above all things it imperatively requires, is 
fine colour," (Sir Joshua Reynolds's glass, mentioned above, is 
mostly brown and drab :) " and what it can admit of, and does 
very much require also, is invention, expression and good 
dramatic action. For this reason work by the greatest historical 
artists is not thrown away upon stained glass windows, because, 
though high finish of execution is superfluous, and against the 
spirit of this beautiful decorative art, yet, as expression and action 
can be conveyed in a few strokes equally as in the most elaborate 
art, on this side therefore stained glass rises to the epic height. 
. . . The cartoons of this firm are never coloured, that task 
devolving on Mr. Morris, the manager, who makes his colour (by 
selecting the glass) out of the very manufacture of the article. 
The revival of the mediaeval art of stained glass dates back now 
some twenty years in the earliest established firms ; nevertheless 
with the public it is still little understood ; a general impression 
prevails that bright colouring is the one thing desirable. . . . The 


result of this is that the manufacturers, goaded on by their clients, 
and the fatal facility of the material, (for all coloured glass is 
bright,) produce too frequently kaleidoscopic effects of the most 
painful description." 

In some interesting notes on " Stained Glass, Ancient and 
Modern," in the " Century Guild Hobby Horse " of October, 1887, 
Mr. John Aldam Heaton writes, " In Keble College the other day, 
a friend remarked, ' We shall soon want a fresh set of Church 
restorations — to get rid of modern stained glass ; ' and certainly 
the specimens before us justified the remark— a remark which 
brought to one's mind all the gross vulgarity of colour, feebleness 
of execution, poverty of design, and general inanity of scheme, all 
overshadowed by a strong tendency towards greenish-jaundice, 
which characterizes ninety per cent, of all the glass now being 
made for cathedrals, churches, and alas ! also for houses." 

" I am far indeed from wishing to include Mr. Morris's work 
in this condemnation, and as he doesn't make anything like a 
tenth of what is produced, I leave room for some respectable work 
by other makers : but this does not even veil the fact that the 
production of this splendid item of the decorator's art has fallen 
into most incompetent hands, and has become a prominent source 
of ofe-decoration to our buildings, and of annoyance and vexation 
to all men of cultivated taste. . . . The mere fact of modern glass 
being drawn on paper only, even by such accomplished designers 
as Mr. Burne-Jones, and then transferred to glass by copyists, — 
copyists whom one feels inclined to class as ' clerks,' — points at 
once to an inevitable and fatal element of inferiority. What 
would a man think, having given an order for a picture to an 
eminent artist, when he discovered that the eminent artist had 
only drawn it in chalk on paper, and then handed it over to his 
' young man ' to copy it in colours on canvas ! Yet this is done 
universally in stained glass ; whereby we at once lose ' touch,' 
sparkle, breadth and originality of handling, and get in exchange 
the mechanical monotony of the copyist ; with this further mis- 
chief, that whereas the canvas or the panel may bear, and often 
with great advantage, the most minute detailing and stippling, 
as witness the work of Memling or Van Eyck, such work is fatal 
on glass, where translucency should be a prominent characteristic. 
. . . The copyist delights in a hard, wire-like, mechanical line, and 
is proud of it : the artist avoids it as he would a plague. The 
copyist, if he has projection to express, knows no way but 
stippling the whole surface — now light maybe, now dark, but 
everywhere stippled, suffering always from that most inartistic 
fault of not knowing where to stop : the mediaeval artist, who 


always appears to have known and felt the qualities and capabi- 
lities of the material he was working in, saw at once that sparkle, 
translucency — life — disappear under excess of stippling, and so 
stopped very far short indeed of the whole surface — often didn't 
stipple at all. Indeed, stained glass, theoretically, should be very 
much of the nature of a sketch by an able hand, vigorous in con- 
ception, strong in the handling of the principal forms, and slight 
as possible in mechanism of detail ; practically, the glass should 
be variable in thickness, ribby, and full of air bubbles, so as to 
produce gradation of colour and enhance the jewel-like effect of 
its translucence : at least half of its surface should be left clean 
glass for the sun to shine through : no lines should be used and 
no ' matting ' more than is absolutely necessary to express the 
intention ; and the lead, broad and plentiful, should supply the 
place of darks." 

Now, tested by these canons, the glass of the firm is pre- 
eminently satisfactory. It fulfils even that condition for which 
Mr. Heaton seems scarcely to recognize that credit is due to it. 
That Mr. Morris felt as keenly as anyone could feel the danger of 
glass executed by one man from the paper cartoon of another 
losing its spirit and finer qualities in the process of reproduction 
is a fact. And accordingly he made a special point of insisting 
on the literal preservation of every characteristic of the original 
design with the minutest fidelity possible. In every case for the 
faces and hands and the more important features, if not invariably 
for the remaining portions, he employed none but accomplished 
artists like Mr. Fairfax Murray, for example, or Mr. Campfield. 
It is not too much to assert that Mr. Murray's rendering of the 
Vyner memorial window at Christ Church, Oxford, from Sir 
Edward Burne-Jones's cartoons, could not have been surpassed 
had the execution of it been the actual work of the designer. If 
the system that prevailed at the time that Mr. Morris took the art 
in hand was that of mere dead copyism and obliteration of all 
character the originals might possess, he certainly was the leader 
to a more excellent way when he introduced the reform, now 
adopted, in theory at any rate, by all the best firms of stained 
glass manufacturers. The quality of the material employed was 
another important consideration with Morris, the pot metal being 
selected with the utmost care from the stock of Messrs. Powell 
and Sons, of Whitefriars. In the early days exception was taken 
frequently to the greenish hue of the white glass in the windows 
of the firm. Mr. Morris, however, was not to be persuaded to 
deviate from the course he had adopted. It was not his fault if 
the inartistic custom of modern glass-makers had used the public 


to prefer a cold and harsh white to the subtler-toned and mellower 
effects of the tinted glass he employed of deliberate purpose. He 
trusted that they would, in course of time, understand and approve 
what he did ; as indeed it would seem that they have. 

Another point to note in Morris glass is that, at the beginning, 
flesh-tint glass was used for faces, hands, etc., a pale pot metal 
which would readily take yellow stain and could be modified with 
enamel colour when it was desired to depict hair, shading, and so 
on. The extreme delicacy of handling is indeed the reason why 
the finer details of some parts in early Morris glass have perished. 
A short period succeeded, in the early seventies, when white glass 
for flesh predominated ; after which was resumed flesh-coloured 
metal again ; stronger and darker, however, than formerly, and 
such that of late years, up to the present time, has continued 
deepening in intensity rather than the reverse. It is said that 
Morris was confirmed in his preference for this usage on seeing 
the effect: of the large windows, when completed, of the Nativity 
and Crucifixion, executed by the firm in 1888, from Sir Edward 
Burne-Jones's cartoons, for St. Philip's, Birmingham : so struck 
was Morris with admiration for these splendid specimens of 
stained glass, held both by himself and by the designer for favour- 
ites among the many windows they had produced together. At St. 
Philip's the flesh tints are for the most part somewhat pronounced ; 
those of the male figures in particular being of a dark brownish 
colour, strongly marked. It is not to be pretended that in the 
course of years there has been no change or development in the 
style of Morris glass. Nowhere perhaps is the contrast, both in 
scheme and colouring, illustrated more strikingly than in St. 
John's Church, Torquay, where the east and west windows are 
separated by an interval of many years. Nor to an unprejudiced 
mind can there be any question as to which of the two accords 
the better with the traditional character of stained glass, or which 
is the more appropriate for its ecclesiastical purpose : the east 
window, of early date, with its stately figures in rich-toned robes 
against a light background, or the recent west window (repre- 
senting the nine choirs of Angels), crowded as it is with wings and 
draperies, of every gradation of colour from pink to lavender, a 
Burne-Jones picture every inch of it, albeit the material is glass. 
The same criticism applies, though perhaps in a lesser degree, to 
the glass at Morton Church, near Gainsborough, and particularly 
to a window on the north side of the church, the subject being 
the stoning of St. Stephen, and to the east window, in which the 
pictorial rendering of sky and landscape might almost suggest a 
parallel to Munich glass. Moreover these windows tend to 

53 p 

darken the church instead of admitting light. But happily this 
type is not the most general among the hundreds of windows 
produced by the firm from the designs of Sir Edward Burne- 
Jones, the artist who has supplied them with by far the largest 
proportion of cartoons for their stained glass. 

Among the superb windows designed by Burne-Jones it 
seems invidious to single out any one as the best, in derogation 
as it were of the others. In 1866 he designed some splendid 
glass for the east window of All Saints' Church, built by Mr. 
Bodley at Cambridge. Afterwards there followed, in the 
seventies, a whole series of windows in the neighbouring Chapel 
of Jesus College. Of these the finest is undoubtedly the large 
window in the south wall of the south transept. The subject is 
the celestial hierarchy, of every grade, and, next after them, 
man made in the image of God, occupying the batement lights 
and two tiers of the five large lights, above the transom. Below 
are five virgin saints, viz. : SS. Ursula, Dorothea, Radegund, 
Cecilia and Catherine; and below these again, Bishop Alcock, 
founder of the College, between the four Latin Fathers, SS. 
Jerome and Gregory on the left, and SS. Ambrose and Augustin 
on the right. No reproduction can convey the glorious effect of 
colour, more especially of the yellows, which range from palest 
amber to fiery orange in wings and other details of the composi- 
tion. The south transept is lighted by two windows on either 
side, of three lights each ; the scheme of subjects being the four 
Evangelists, one in the middle of each window, between two 
Sibyls, and smaller groups beneath from the life of our Lord. 
There are other fine windows by the firm in the nave — some 
half-hidden by the organ — and in the north transept : in all 
eleven Morris windows. It may be mentioned here that the 
firm was also employed under Mr. Bodley, to whose hands was 
committed the restoration of the Chapel, to decorate the roof of 
the nave. For this purpose Morris himself designed a series of 
Angels holding scrolls inscribed with the Vexilla Regis. These 
were executed in tempera on either side of the coved roof. 

Covering about the same period as the windows at Jesus 
College are those, also from Burne-Jones's designs, at Christ 
Church, Oxford ; and it would be difficult to find more magnificent 
examples of Morris glass than three out of the four. The earliest 
in date, a four-light window, contains large figures of Samuel, 
David, St. John and Timothy. All in white, relieved in parts 
with yellow diapering, they show up strikingly against a back- 
ground of dark green foliage showing over the top of a blue 
tapestry curtain. The pavement on which they stand is pale 


Painted Glass in Jesus College Chapel, Cam- 
bridge; designed by SirE. Burne-Jones, Bart. 

■misO .bqerlO 939fio0 auso(. ni <a£lO bsJnii 

.iiEa*,83noi.-9n-!oa .a iig 

Painted Glass in Jesus College Chapel, Cam- 
bridge ; designed by SirE. Burne-Jones, Bart. 

.3TMIA3 dWA 2J30WA 
-mcO ,l3qfcr 
.JifiS . . ybiirf 

red, while their halos are of spoilt ruby glass, the effect of which, 
flecked with blood and flame colour, produced solely by the metal 
being coated without uniformity of surface, is remarkably rich 
and jewel-like. The flesh tints, perhaps by contrast to the white 
draperies, seem rather deep than otherwise. The colour scheme 
of the lower groups is mainly blue, bluish green, olive, amber 
and white. The next window, to the right of the last, is not less 
beautiful. It consists of three lights and represents St. Cecilia 
between two Angels. The red nimbuses the light flesh tints, the 
draperies all white except for the brownish purple lining of the 
robe of the right-hand figure, the Angels' wings of pale blue, 
splashed here and there with yellow stain, make an exquisite 
contrast to the rich green foliage and dark peacock-blue hangings 
draped in the background. The prevailing colours of the small 
groups below, from the life of the Saint, are blue, white and 
amber. To the south of the altar and, like the two foregoing, in 
the east wall also, is a window erected in 1877, representing St. 
Catherine between the Angel of Suffering and the Angel of 
Victory. Against a background of green foliage, of purple walls 
and dark blue curtains, the three figures stand all in white ; the 
figure of the Saint peculiarly majestic, the Angels having spoilt 
ruby halos, the mutilated hands of the Angel on the left being 
veiled in a cloth of light cinnamon hue, — the same colour as the 
flames which the Angel on the opposite side is combating. Deeper 
tones prevail in the lower compartments, one of the floating 
Angels who carry the body of St. Catherine to her burial being of 
a ripe orange ; while the glory of cherubim surrounding the Christ 
in the middle panel has an indescribable glow of ruby, purple 
and blue. 

Among other windows of the firm may be named those in 
Peterhouse Combination Room at Cambridge, dating between 
1869 and 1874. This room contains five windows of two lights 
each and a large bay window of six lights. The subject of the 
four windows on the north side is a series of poets from Homer 
to Milton, from designs by Madox Brown and Burne-Jones, upon 
a diamond quarried background. The two-light window on the 
south side represents King Edward I. and the founder, Hugh de 
Balsham, Bishop of Ely, designed by Madox Brown ; while the 
bay window, on the same side of the room, illustrates Chaucer's 
" Legend of Good Women " from designs by Burne-Jones, the 
figures being portrayed in colours on a grisaille and yellow- 
stained background. In 1864 there were purchased for the South 
Kensington Museum four panels, by Messrs. Morris, Marshall, 
Faulkner and Co., three of them identical with the Peterhouse 


glass, viz., those which represent the poet Chaucer asleep, Dido 
and Cleopatra and the God of Love with Alceste. The fourth 
panel is a very beautiful head of Penelope, in the form of a 
medallion, within a wreath, upon a quarried ground of conven- 
tional floral pattern. 

The west window of the Parish Church at Bishopsbourne, 
near Canterbury, is filled with Morris glass, designed by Burne- 
Jones, and erected in 1874. The three large lights are occupied 
by symbolical representations of Faith, Hope, and Charity, 
similar in drawing to those in the west window of the south aisle 
at Christ Church, only that the figures at Oxford are strong in 
colour, whereas at Bishopsbourne they are clothed entirely in 
white, which gives them a totally different effect. A richer 
colour tone is concentrated in the lower part of the window, 
which contains crouching figures symbolical of the vices opposed 
to the three theological virtues ; while in the two batement lights 
at the top are Angels playing on pipes. 

Next may be mentioned the glass, designed by Burne-Jones, 
at Paisley Abbey : and also the window, designed by the same 
hand and executed by Morris and Co. in 1879, in the south choir 
aisle of Salisbury Cathedral ; — the subject being two ministering 
and two praising Angels. In the early eighties Burne-Jones 
designed windows for the Savoy Chapel and for St. Peter's, Vere 
Street, and in 1885 for St. Giles's, Edinburgh. Thenceforward, 
nay, even before that date (for it is a fact that the late Dean 
Stanley was an admirer of the work of the firm and that Morris, 
had he chosen, might have obtained the order to execute stained 
glass for Westminster Abbey itself), it became a rare thing to 
find Morris glass inserted in any ancient building. There were 
of course special exceptions, as in places where glass of the firm 
existed already, and Mr. Morris was pressed to supply more 
en suite with the previous work ; or where personal claims seemed 
to justify such a proceeding, as in the case of the village church 
of Rottingdean, the country home of Burne-Jones. It was 
indeed a matter of principle with Morris, who, in order to be in a 
position to protest against the terrible disfiguring of old buildings 
by the introduction of wretched modern glass, etc., by others, had 
to set a consistent example and refrain himself. The pity of it 
was that this policy of his could not be guaranteed to effect the 
object he desired. For, given a person who has formed the 
generous determination to present a stained glass window — a 
memorial as often as not — to any particular church : Suppose the 
capable firm has been offered and has refused the order, what is to 
hinder the intending donor from having recourse to some inferior 



■' .'..■■ 

.- m8 ,-■:■ - ■ ...■•■.':■ 


Part of Window in Christ Church, Oxford ; 

designed by Sir E. Burne-Jones, Bart. 

.AIJID30 .T3 

;bio1zO .rtsiudO JahriO ni wcbniWlo nel 

.JibS ^ano^-saiuS .3 n3 ^d han^Usb 

firm of glass-makers, and thereby swelling the roll of deplorable 
defacements to ancient buildings. It is to be feared that Morris's 
conscientious scruples in this regard have made our land the 
poorer by the loss of many examples of stained glass which 
might else have been in existence. 

A Morris window of importance and of recent date also — 
since it was erected only in 1895 — * s the east window of Holy 
Trinity Church, Sloane Street. The glass was designed by 
Burne-Jones, but it must be confessed that, as a conception, it is 
far from deserving to rank among that great artist's most suc- 
cessful achievements. Here was a grand and, one may say, a 
unique opportunity; one of the largest window surfaces in 
London, and such that had the further advantage of Mr. Sedding's 
beautiful tracery to serve as a basis for the ornamental glass. 
But who is prepared to maintain that the glass bears any sort of 
relation to the tracery it fills? Does not it consist rather of a 
collection of figures, which, since they are designed by one and 
the same hand, have, it is true, a strong family likeness, but no 
homogeneity of plan beyond being all displayed similarly upon a 
background of tapestry-like foliage ? What material difference 
would a dozen more or less of such figures have made to the 
work as an ordered and cohesive composition ? Nay, a sampler, 
like this one, of sacred iconography, is capable of almost any 
number of additions or subtractions without increasing or 
impairing to an appreciable degree its completeness as an 
organic whole. It is scarcely necessary to observe that, regarded 
by itself, every single figure is beautiful, as whatever Burne- 
Jones draws is bound to be. But, taken into account the position 
they occupy, their scale is too small to be proportionate to the 
great size of the window, in which, surely, if anywhere, a large 
and broad treatment is what was required. These remarks are 
not intended to reflect in any sense upon the execution or quality 
of the glass, which is as perfect as one would wish and quite 
worthy of the renowned firm that produced it. 

The ceramic art, or rather that branch of it represented by 
the ornamentation of tiles, is another industry which owes its 
rescue from degradation to William Morris. " All nations," said 
he, in his Lecture on " The Lesser Arts of Life " (published in 
1882), "however barbarous, have made pottery; . . . but none 
have ever failed to make it on true principles, none have made 
shapes ugly or base till quite modern times. I should say that 
the making of ugly pottery was one of the most remarkable 
inventions of our civilization." A little further on Morris states 
the main principles that should regulate the ornamentation of 

57 Q 

fitftiles. " As to the surface decoration on pottery, it is clear it 
must never be printed ; . . . one rule we have for a guide, and 
whatever we do if we abide by it, we are quite sure to go wrong 
if we neglect it : and it is common to all the lesser arts. Think 
of your material. Don't paint anything on pottery save what can 
be painted only on pottery ; if you do it is clear that however 
good a draughtsman you may be, you do not care about that 
special art. You can't suppose that the Greek wall-painting was 
anything like their painting on pottery — there is plenty of evi- 
dence to show that it was not. Or, take another example from 
the Persian art ; it is easy for those conversant with it to tell 
from an outline tracing of a design whether it was done for 
pottery painting or for other work." 

It was at the beginning of 1862, and some tiles were required 
for use at the Red House. But at that time there simply were 
no hand-painted tiles produced in this country. So Morris had 
to begin from the very beginning. Plain white tiles were im- 
ported by the firm from Holland, and Morris, Faulkner and 
others set about experimenting with various glazes, enamels, &c, 
until the desired results were obtained. The same kiln that was 
used for firing the stained glass was made to serve for the tiles 
also. An iron muffle with iron shelves carried the glass in the 
middle part, while the tiles were so placed as to be exposed to 
the greatest heat, at the top and bottom. A small wind-furnace 
was employed for slips and for colour-testing experiments. 
Burne-Jones furnished the figure designs that were painted on 
the earliest tiles of the firm. These figures having first been 
outlined by others, Mr. Morris, with Mr. Faulkner's help, tinted 
in the flat surfaces with enamel colour. After the first firing a 
soft glaze of the firm's own composition was applied to the 
surface of the tiles. 

A set of tiles, with figures of Adam and Eve, was painted in 
readiness for the Exhibition of 1862, and was in fact delivered 
and unpacked with a view to being exhibited. But when Mr. 
William Burges, the architect, saw them, he failed to appreciate 
the decorative value of some scrolls, with verses by Morris, that 
had been introduced into the composition. Whereupon, in order 
to avoid misunderstandings, Morris had the tiles removed from 
among the exhibits, without submitting them to the inspection of 
the hanging committee as a body. Morris, however, was far 
from being deterred in any way by this incident, and the produc- 
tion of hand-painted tiles continued to be from thenceforward 
one of the regular crafts of the firm. Among Burne-Jones's 
designs for tiles were a series to illustrate Chaucer's " Good 


Women," the story of Cinderella, a favourite subject which was 
reproduced repeatedly, and the legend of the Sleeping Beauty. 
Rossetti and Madox Brown also designed tiles for the firm. 
There was one set of designs — a joint production — representing 
the several occupations of the months and seasons of the year. 
Of these Madox Brown designed the pictures of tree-felling, 
seed-sowing, and sheep-shearing, while Morris himself designed 
a mower whetting his scythe. Morris designed in addition a 
number of tiles of conventional floral and other diaper patterns 
to surround the figure subjects for fireplaces, &c. Of these one 
which was used frequently was known as the " Swan pattern." 
It has been said above that at first Morris and Faulkner used to 
paint tiles themselves ; later Miss Lucy Faulkner undertook this 
branch of the work in place of her brother and Mr. Morris. Miss 
Kate Faulkner also painted tiles for the firm, and continued to do 
so until within a few years ago. After Miss Lucy Faulkner's 
marriage the firm produced but few figure-subject: tiles ; one of 
the last of these being a medallion tile presented by Mr. Morris 
to Baron Leys. 

Effective use of tiles was made by Messrs. Morris, Marshall, 
Faulkner and Co. for internal decorations. The firm supplied 
tiles of figure panels surrounded by diaper ornament for the 
fireplace in the hall of Sandroyd House, Cobham, Surrey, a 
house Mr. Webb built for Mr. Stanhope shortly after Morris's 
Red House at Upton. It so happened that both owners gave up 
their respective houses within a short period of one another. 

The two fireplaces in Peterhouse Combination Room were 
fitted in 1870 with Morris tiles, in the shape of figure panels on a 
floral diaper ground. The larger of the fireplaces has representa- 
tions of the four seasons, with verses by Morris — the same which 
he published in " The Academy " of February 1st, 1871 ; while 
the panels in the smaller fireplace have figures of SS. Peter and 
George. The chimney-breast of the Hall at Queen's College, 
Cambridge, is decorated by the firm with hand-painted tiles, 
consisting of figure subjects upon a ground-work of blue diaper 
ornament, within a conventional border of the same colour. The 
figures represent the two royal foundresses, Margaret of Anjou 
and Elizabeth Woodville, designed by Madox Brown in 1873 ; the 
tutelary saints of the college, SS. Bernard and Margaret, and 
allegorical figures of the twelve months of the year. 

It was owing in great measure to Mr. Morris's initiative that 
Mr. William de Morgan, now of Chelsea and Great Marlborough 
Street, took up the art. He worked for a time in connection with 
Morris and Co., though his business is and was quite distinct 


from theirs. How he has revived and developed the exquisite 
Hispano-Moresque lustre for the painting of tiles and other 
fictile objects is well known to all artists and connoisseurs. Some 
early Morris tiles having suffered through the excess of borax in 
the ordinary enamels of commerce, the only colours available at 
the time that the industry was revived, the firm abandoned the 
use of them, and latterly the only colours used by Morris and Co. 
for the purpose have been those prepared and supplied by Mr. de 

The firm of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. had been in 
existence scarcely six years when they were commissioned to 
carry out the internal decorations of the Green Dining-Room at 
the South Kensington Museum. In this room are two windows, 
containing in all six panels, with figures, robed in white, designed 
by Burne-Jones in 1866 and 1867. These panels form a horizontal 
band across the windows, with roundels — another form of win- 
dow decoration revived by Morris — above and below, of pale 
greenish white glass painted with a delicate pattern of conven- 
tional ornament. The walls of the dining-room are panelled 
with wood, painted green and rising to about half the height of 
the room from the floor. The upper panels are gilt, the majority of 
them being decorated with painted sprays of various trees and 
flowers, while at intervals, in place of these floral designs, are 
panels with decorative figures painted on them. It is charac- 
teristic of Mr. Morris's scrupulous thoroughness that, after the 
panels were finished, he came to the conclusion that the work, 
having been carried out by different painters, was not uniform 
enough in style to make a consecutive or harmonious scheme of 
decoration. Accordingly he was not satisfied until they had all 
been repainted almost afresh by the hand of Mr. Fairfax Murray. 
The wall-space above the panelling is covered with a conven- 
tional pattern of foliage in relief; and round the top runs a frieze 
with panels depicting a chase of animals. 

From 1870 to 1873 Dr. Sandford, now Protestant titular 
Bishop of Gibraltar, held the living of Bishopsbourne (a country 
parish the associations of which possess an interest for some 
because Richard Hooker, called " the judicious," was a former 
rector ; the yew-trees planted by him being shown in the garden 
to this day), and Mr. Morris, as a friend of Dr. Sandford's, visited 
him at Bishopsbourne Rectory and decorated the dining-room 
there (the same room in which Hooker died). The decoration is 
of simple character, consisting of a delicate conventional pattern 
stencilled on the plaster between the moulded rafters ; a narrow 
scroll painted round the top of the wall immediately below the 


roof-beams ; and a Gothic pattern, brighter in colour and more 
solid than the rest, stencilled upon the panels of the dado. 

Of the many industries connected with the name of Morris, 
none has more universal celebrity than that of wall-paper hang- 
ings ; and rightly so. For it was Morris who made this a truly 
valuable branch of domestic ornamentation ; Morris, who ele- 
vated it from the level of a temporary expedient of no great 
account to be a craft of the first rank. If in some other instances 
he was rather the restorer and infuser of fresh life into arts fallen 
into degeneracy, he was nothing short of a creator in the case of 
wall-paper design, which, as a serious decorative art, owes its 
existence to him before anyone else. The youngest in point of 
date, it is yet, of all the art industries of the present time, not far 
from being the most satisfactory, regarded from the standpoint 
of taste. It commands the services of the very foremost of 
decorative artists amongst us, of Messrs. Voysey, Butterfield, 
Walter Crane, Lewis Day, Heywood Sumner, Mawson, Silver, 
and many more beside. 

The importance of paying due regard to the artistic treat- 
ment of our wall spaces is a matter on which Morris has insisted 
in his lecture on " The Lesser Arts of Life," wherein he says, 
" Whatever you have in your rooms, think first of the walls ; for 
they are that which makes your house and home ; and if you 
don't make some sacrifice in their favour, you will find your 
chambers have a kind of makeshift, lodging-house look about 
them, however rich and handsome your movables may be." 
Thus much for the general principle. Coming to details, " I sup- 
pose I am bound," writes Morris, "to say something on the quite 
modern and very humble, but, as things go, useful art of printing 
patterns on paper for wall hangings. But really there is not 
much to be said about it, unless we were considering the 
arrangement and formation of its patterns ; because it is so very 
free from those difficulties the meeting and conquering of which 
give character to the more intricate crafts. I think the real way 
to deal successfully with designing for paper-hangings is to 
accept their mechanical nature frankly, to avoid falling into the 
trap of trying to make your paper look as if it were painted by 
hand. Here is the place, if anywhere, for dots and lines and 
hatchings : mechanical enrichment is of the first necessity in it. 
After that you may be as intricate and elaborate in your pattern 
as you please ; nay, the more and the more mysteriously you 
interweave your sprays and stems the better for your purpose, 
as the whole thing has to be pasted flat on a wall, and the cost 
of all this intricacy will but come out of your own brain and 

61 R 

hand. For the rest, the fact that in this art we are so little 
helped by beautiful and varying material imposes on us the 
necessity for being specially thoughtful in our designs ; every 
one of them must have a distinct idea in it ; some beautiful piece 
of nature must have pressed itself on our notice so forcibly that 
we are quite full of it, and can, by submitting ourselves to the 
rules of art, express our pleasure to others, and give them some 
of the keen delight that we ourselves have felt. If we cannot do 
this in some measure our paper design will not be worth much ; 
it will be but a makeshift expedient for covering a wall with 
something or other ; and if we really care about art we shall not 
put up with ' something or other,' but shall choose honest white- 
wash instead, on which sun and shadow play so pleasantly, if 
only our room be well planned and well shaped, and look kindly 
on us." In the lecture, " Making the Best of it," with reference to 
the structure of patterns, Morris makes some general observa- 
tions, which, however, apply in a peculiar degree to wall-paper 
design: "Whereas it has been said that a recurring pattern 
should be constructed on a geometrical basis, it is clear that it 
cannot be constructed otherwise ; only the structure may be 
more or less masked, and some designers take a great deal of 
pains to do so. I cannot say that I think this always necessary. 
It may be so when the pattern is on a very small scale, and 
meant to attract but little attention. But it is sometimes the 
reverse of desirable in large and important patterns, and, to my 
mind, all noble patterns should at least look large. Some of the 
finest and pleasantest of these show their geometrical structure 
clearly enough ; and if the lines of them grow strongly and flow 
gracefully, I think they are decidedly helped by their structure 
not being elaborately concealed. At the same time, in all 
patterns which are meant to fill the eye and satisfy the mind, 
there should be a certain mystery. We should not be able to 
read the whole thing at once, nor desire to do so, nor be impelled 
by that desire to go on tracing line after line to find out how the 
pattern is made, and I think that the obvious presence of a 
geometrical order, if it be, as it should be, beautiful, tends 
towards this end, and prevents our feeling restless over a pattern. 
That every line in a pattern should have its due growth, and be 
traceable to its beginning ... is undoubtedly essential to the 
finest pattern work ; equally so is it that no stem should be so 
far from its parent stock as to look weak or wavering. . . . 
Everyone who has practised the designing of patterns knows 
the necessity for covering the ground equably and richly. This 
is really to a great extent the secret of obtaining the look of 


satisfying mystery aforesaid, and it is the very test of capacity in 
a designer. Finally, no amount of delicacy is too great in draw- 
ing the curves of a pattern, no amount of care in getting the 
leading lines right from the first, can be thrown away, for beauty 
of detail cannot afterwards cure any shortcoming in this. 
Remember that a pattern is either right or wrong. It cannot be 
forgiven for blundering. ... It is ■with a pattern as with a 
fortress, it is no stronger than its weakest point. A failure for 
ever recurring torments the eye too much to allow the mind to 
take any pleasure in suggestion and intention." 

" As to the second moral quality of design, meaning, I include 
in that the invention and imagination which forms the soul of 
this art, as of all others, and which, when submitted to the bonds 
of order, has a body and a visible existence. Now . . . form may 
be taught, but the spirit that breathes through it cannot be. So 
I will content myself with saying this on these qualities, that 
though a designer may put all manner of strangeness and 
surprise into his patterns, he must not do so at the expense of 
beauty. You will never find a case in this kind of work where 
ugliness and violence are not the result of barrenness, and not of 
fertility of invention. The fertile man, he of resource, has not to 
worry himself about invention. He need but think of beauty 
and simplicity of expression ; his work will grow on and on, one 
thing leading to another, as it fares with a beautiful tree. . . . 
No pattern should be without some sort of meaning. True it is 
that that meaning may have come down to us traditionally, and 
not be our own invention, yet we must at heart understand it, or 
we can neither receive it, nor hand it down to our successors. It 
is no longer tradition if it is servilely copied, without change, the 
token of life. You may be sure that the softest and loveliest of 
patterns will weary the steadiest admirers of their school as soon 
as they see that there is no hope of growth in them. For you 
know all art is compact of effort, of failure and of hope, and we 
cannot but think that somewhere perfection lies ahead, as we 
look anxiously for the better thing that is to come from the good. 
Furthermore, you must not only mean something in your patterns, 
but must also be able to make others understand that meaning. 
. . . Now the only way in our craft of design for compelling 
people to understand you is to follow hard on Nature ; for what 
else can you refer people to, or what else is there which every- 
body can understand ? everybody that it is worth addressing 
yourself to, which includes all people who can feel and think." 

In the manufacture of hand-printed wall-papers it was 
Morris's original intention to use zinc plates prepared by a 


method somewhat akin to process engraving at the present day, 
which however proved too slow and laborious to be practicable. 
Morris therefore had to have recourse to the ordinary mode of 
block-cutting; and the firm engaged the services of a block- 
cutter named Barrett of Bethnal Green, who undertook to 
execute the blocks under the personal supervision of Mr. Morris. 
Again, in the matter of the printing, Morris's plan was to obtain 
more varied and artistic effects with transparent pigments instead 
of the solid body colours then in general use for the purpose. 
The production of paper-hangings has now reached so advanced 
a stage of development that there is not the smallest difficulty in 
the employment of wash tints, but in those early days the scheme 
could not be carried out. Indeed, but a brief period of trials on 
their own account convinced the firm of the expediency of trans- 
ferring the manufacture of wall-papers bodily — the block-cutting 
as well as the printing — from their own premises to the experi- 
enced hands of Mr. Metford Warner, the acting principal of 
Messrs. Jeffrey and Co., Essex Road, Islington. The result was 
so satisfactory that the arrangement has been allowed to continue 
to this day. Messrs. Jeffrey and Co. have a separate department 
which they reserve exclusively for the carrying out of the work 
entrusted to them by Morris and Co., the paper-hangings so 
produced remaining, as it is perhaps scarcely necessary to say, 
the sole property of the latter. 

The designs, with comparatively few exceptions, have always 
been drawn by William Morris himself. The first wall-paper to 
be designed, though it came third in order of production, consists 
of a trellis, which gives its name to the pattern, intertwining 
roses, somewhat stiff in growth, and brown birds here and there 
among the branches. Morris diffidently refrained from designing 
the bird forms with his own hand, preferring to have them drawn 
by Mr. Philip Webb. The earliest Morris wall-paper issued was 
the " Daisy," a quaint pattern consisting of plant-groups of daisies, 
columbines, &c, dotted at regular intervals on the field, in a 
manner so formal as none but a master of design could have 
ventured to do, nor certainly anyone else have achieved success 
in doing. Here then, with a frankness which in a designer less 
gifted must have produced inevitably results both harsh and 
crude, Morris has accepted the mechanical limitations of his 
craft and has triumphed in that accepting. The dexterity 
involved in a design like this is such that few perhaps would 
suspect. Yet if that saying be true, Ars est cclare artem, then this is 
a consummate work of art. Some of Morris's patterns may 
possibly lend themselves to adaptation or— not to mince matters — 


to imitation, but this at least is out of reach, its virtues incom- 
municable. It has a delicacy of touch about it, a character 
all its own. The colours employed in it are neither few in 
number nor low in tone, and yet they are combined with such 
judgment that the harmony of the whole is perfect. There be 
Morris papers which, subordinate in scheme of colouring and 
undemonstrative of line, admit readily enough of accessory orna- 
ments in the way of china, pictures, and so on. But the " Daisy " 
pattern is not of the number of these. It gives a room in which 
it may be hung an air of distinction and completeness that seems 
to deprecate any further embellishment. In a word, the " Daisy " 
is a marvel of supreme cleverness ; and withal one of which the 
popularity declines no whit as time goes by. It is a startling 
evidence of the strength and original qualities of Morris's work 
that a design of his like this should have lost none of its charm 
and freshness after having been before the public for over thirty 
years. It is to this day among those most in demand, if not 
actually itself the most in demand of all his wall-papers. The 
second paper brought out by the firm was named the " Fruit," a 
design of stiff diagonal branches contrasting with the roundness 
of apples and pomegranates and the freer shapes of leaves and 
blossoms. After the " Trellis " Morris's next designs brought 
out were the " Diaper," the " Scroll," and the " Branch," of which 
none calls for any special remark. The " Larkspur " followed, 
in one print on a white ground, a very characteristic and beau- 
tiful pattern, with firmly-drawn leafage, the convolutions of which 
aptly illustrate Morris's remarks, quoted above, about the import- 
ance of getting one's curves true in a pattern. No more noble 
instance than this could be found of the value of careful draughts- 
manship. The design contains also larkspur flowers and roses, 
not however very conspicuous. The name of the "Jasmine" 
indicates sufficiently the subject of the next design, which is in 
several colours. Then comes a peculiarly beautiful, if severe, 
design called the " Marigold," a single print, the pattern showing 
light upon a deeper toned ground. It has certain qualities of 
drawing in common with the " Larkspur," and yet, set side by 
side, the two designs are quite distinct. Both, however, possess 
in a marked degree that indefinable sense of immortality which 
is the property of the best work in every age. Produced years 
ago they seem nevertheless as new as if they had been designed 
only yesterday. Though other designs should wax old and 
perish with the transient phases and fashions whose reflection 
they are, there is no danger of these at any rate ever becoming 
antiquated, or failing to fulfil the desire of human beings that 

65 s 

crave for vital beauty ; and that just because they bear no label 
of place or period, but have in themselves a life that is free and 
independent of every change of time and circumstance. There 
is hardly need to say that it is not intended to limit the applica- 
tion of these remarks to the particular designs of Morris's which 
occasioned them. Only it happens that his wall-paper patterns, 
being both numerous and varied, furnish more typical instances 
than are to be met with in any one other branch of his art. 
After the " Marigold " came his " Lily " pattern, recalling in some 
sort the " Daisy ; " then the " Powdered," and after that the 
" Willow." The last is a handsome design of willow-sprays 
upon an under-printed background of hawthorn blossoms. Next 
in order is the " Vine," a fine design which later was reproduced 
with bronze colouring. The " Acanthus " is a magnificent design. 
The grand sweep of the foliage, the rich and varied gradations of 
its colouring combine to produce a sumptuous effect which indi- 
cates the highest attainable point in paper staining, and such 
that could scarcely be surpassed even in tapestry-weaving. The 
pattern is so elaborate that it requires a double set of blocks and 
cannot be produced with less than thirty-two printings. It was 
made first in red, afterwards in a similar combination of green 
tones, and still more recently in yellowish browns. The " Pim- 
pernel," the " Wreath," and the " Rose " preceded the " Chrysan- 
themum," a large and handsome pattern in many colours, and 
next the " Apple." The last has a leaf which forms a prominent 
feature together with the fruit upon a background of willow 
leaves. There followed next a ceiling-paper in one print, con- 
sisting of floral forms, necessarily rigid in arrangement. After- 
wards came the " Sunflower," the " Acorn," the " Poppy," and 
the " Carnation." Next an order for St. James's Palace evoked a 
very splendid wall-filling of conventional forms on a large scale 
and roses introduced in a less prominent manner, the whole 
printed in an elaborate scheme of colouring. The St. James's 
ceiling, designed to go with the last-named, is a large pattern, 
printed, however, in one colour only. The " Bird and Anemone " 
is a replica of a design for cretonne. The " Grafton " was suc- 
ceeded by a ceiling-paper in which boldness of effect is in no way 
sacrificed, in spite of its being in several colours and altogether 
of a less simple character than the former ones. The " Wild 
Tulip " followed, a striking pattern with a large leaf, of which the 
form is emphasized by the ingenious use of dots ; the background 
being also dotted. The composition includes a flower not unlike 
that in the above-mentioned "Poppy" pattern. Mr. Morris's 
next wall-paper was the " Fritillary," which has a very marked 


leaf and some points of resemblance to the " Wild Tulip " design. 
Next is the " Garden Tulip " pattern, which consists of a tulip 
spray strongly accentuated by the slight and almost thin treat- 
ment of the background ; next the '•' Lily and Pomegranate," a 
design which also includes marigolds — a stiff pattern in many 
colours with a dotted ground; next the "Willow Bough," a more 
naturalistic treatment than the earlier " Willow ; " and next one 
named the " Merton," of no particular importance. The above 
were followed by the " Bruges," a superb design which it is 
impossible to praise in terms too high. Though entirely original 
in detail, its general aspect is more thoroughly Gothic and tradi- 
tional than that of anything Morris ever produced in the way of 
repeated ornament. Conceived on broad mediaeval lines, it forms 
a decoration which, upon the walls of a fifteenth century building, 
is in perfect accord with its surroundings. More in its favour 
could not well be said. Itself diagonal in plan, the " Bruges " 
was followed by a doubled pattern called " Autumn Flowers ; " 
and then by the " Borage " ceiling-paper, a design in one print. 
The " Norwich " wall-paper is another instance of the effective 
use that may be made of dots in this class of design. Conven- 
tionalized peonies, roses, &c, are here rendered in an elaborate 
scheme of colouring. The " Wall-flower " again is an example of 
dotted ornament. The " Hammersmith " has a large conven- 
tional form repeated in smaller compass than the " Norwich," 
which, however, in many ways it resembles. The " Pink and 
Rose," in one print, is an example of flat and decorative treat- 
ment for wall-surfaces ; while the " Double Bough " introduces 
some familiar Morris forms and methods once more. The 
" Triple Net " is a light pattern on a coloured ground ; while the 
" Flora," on the other hand, in colours on a white ground, is 
somewhat thin in effect. The " Bachelor's Button " design is yet 
another instance in which boldly-treated foliage and other well- 
known Morris forms appear ; and the " Lechlade " is a large 
pattern in very light and delicate colouring, great concentric 
leaf-sprays and purely conventional flower forms being employed 
with admirable effect. The " Spring Thicket " is a large, set 
pattern with lilies, executed in soft and harmonious colouring. 
The " Compton," another very fine pattern in many colours upon 
a dark ground, has been reproduced also in the form of a cretonne. 
The " Net " ceiling-paper, in several colours, completes the list of 
Mr. Morris's designs for paper-hangings. Of the remaining 
patterns produced by the firm, amounting in all to no more than 
twenty, four were adaptations from various sources, while the 
rest were original designs by Miss Faulkner, Miss May Morris, 


and last, but not least, by Mr. H. Dearie, who has for some time 
past been resident manager of the works at Merton Abbey. It 
should be remarked that many of Messrs. Morris and Co.'s wall- 
papers have at different times been brought out by them in 
additional colourings, or with variations in their schemes of 
colouring subsequently to their original appearance ; and also 
that by far the largest majority of the papers are printed from 
hand-blocks alone, but an insignificant proportion being machine- 
printed, e.g., the " Loop Trail," " Merton," " Carnation," and the 
" Oak Tree." The latter, designed by Mr. Dearie, is the most 
recent of all Morris and Co.'s patterns in paper-hangings. 

It was but two or three years after the firm of Morris, 
Marshall, Faulkner and Co. came into being that Mr. Morris 
formed the project of adding weaving to their other undertakings. 
What he has to say on the subject of this craft will be found in 
the address on " The Lesser Arts of Life," included in the volume 
of Lectures on Art by various authors, published in 1882 ; in the 
lecture entitled " Textile Fabrics " (in which the subject is 
treated mainly from the historical point of view), delivered in the 
Lecture Room of the International Health Exhibition in London 
on July nth, 1884, and afterwards issued by authority as an official 
handbook ; and lastly in the Essay prefixed to the Catalogue of 
the first Exhibition of the Arts and Crafts Society in the autumn 
of 1888, and republished in 1893 in the volume of collected Essays. 
In the first of these works, after referring briefly to the making of 
plain cloth which is " not susceptible of ornament," Morris says : 
" As the designing of woven stuffs fell into degradation in the 
latter days, the designers got fidgeting after trivial novelties ; 
change for the sake of change ; they must needs strives to make 
their woven flowers look as if they were painted with a brush, or 
even sometimes as if they were drawn by the engraver's burin. 
This gave them plenty of trouble and exercised their ingenuity 
in the tormenting of their web with spots and stripes and ribs 
and the rest of it, but quite destroyed the seriousness of the work 
and even its raison d'etre. As of pottery-painting, so of figure- 
weaving : do nothing in it but that which only weaving can do : 
and to this end make your design as elaborate as you please in 
silhouette, but carry it out simply ; you are not drawing lines 
freely with your shuttle, you are building up a pattern with a 
fine rectilinear mosaic. If this is kept well in mind by the 
designer, and he does not try to force his material into no- 
thoroughfares, he may have abundant pleasure in the making of 
woven stuffs, and he is perhaps less likely to go wrong (if he has 
a feeling for colour) in this art than in any other. I will say 


further that he should be careful to get due proportions between 
his warp and weft : not to starve the first, which is the body of 
the web so to say, for the sake of the second, which is its clothes : 
this is done now-a-days over much by ingenious designers who 
are trying to make their web look like non-mechanical stuffs, or 
who want to get a delusive show of solidity in a poor cloth, which 
is much to be avoided : a similar fault we are too likely to fall 
into is of a piece with what is done in all the lesser arts to-day ; 
and which doubtless is much fostered by the ease given to our 
managers of works by the over-development of machinery : I am 
thinking of the weaving up of rubbish into apparently delicate 
and dainty wares. No man, with the true instinct of a workman, 
should have anything to do with this : it may not mean com- 
mercial dishonesty, though I suspect it sometimes does, but it 
must mean artistic dishonesty : poor materials in this craft, as in 
all others, should only be used in coarse work, where they are 
used without pretence for what they are : this we must agree to 
at once, or sink all art in commerce (so-called) in these crafts." 
In the Arts and Crafts Essay Morris writes : " Mechanical 
weaving has to repeat the pattern on the cloth within compara- 
tively narrow limits ; the number of colours also is limited in 
most cases to four or five. In most cloths so woven, therefore, 
the best plan seems to be to choose a pleasant ground colour and 
to superimpose a pattern mainly composed of either a lighter 
shade of that colour, or a colour in no very strong contrast to the 
ground ; and then, if you are using several colours, to light up 
this general arrangement either with a more forcible outline, or 
by spots of stronger colour carefully disposed. Often the lighter 
shade on the darker suffices, and hardly calls for anything else : 
some very beautiful cloths are merely damasks, in which the 
warp and weft are of the same colour, but a different tone is 
obtained by the figure and the ground being woven with a longer 
or shorter twill : the tabby being tied by the warp very often, the 
satin much more rarely. In any case, the patterned webs pro- 
duced by mechanical weaving, if the ornament is to be effective 
and worth the doing, require that same Gothic crispness and 
clearness of detail which has been spoken of before : the geo- 
metrical structure of the pattern, which is a necessity in all 
recurring patterns, should be boldly insisted upon, so as to draw 
the eye from accidental figures, which the recurrence of the 
pattern is apt to produce. The meaningless stripes and spots and 
other tormentings of the simple twill of the web, which are so 
common in the woven ornament of the eighteenth century and 
our own times, should be carefully avoided : all these things are 

69 T 

the last resource of a jaded invention and a contempt of the 
simple and fresh beauty that comes of a sympathetic suggestion of 
natural forms : if the pattern be vigorously and firmly drawn 
with a true feeling for the beauty of line and silhouette, the play of 
light and shade on the material of the simple twill will give all 
the necessary variety." 

Morris's attention is said to have been drawn to the industry 
of weaving in the first place by the mere accident of seeing a 
man in the street selling toy models of weaving machines, when 
it occurred to him to buy one and to practise upon it for himself. 
After some preliminary experiments more or less successful, he 
then began to endeavour to obtain a full-sized hand-loom. What 
he wanted was an old one of the old style, with hand-shuttle, &c, 
such as formerly had been in traditional use at Spitalfields, but 
had become by that time practically obsolete, save, it might be, 
among the very oldest weavers of the place. The matter was 
one in which, in default of an expert possessed of the necessary 
qualifications among his own colleagues or employes, Morris was 
obliged to turn to help from outside. It so happened he was 
most unfortunate in respect of the several agents whom he 
trusted, one after another, and employed to procure and set up a 
loom for him. A series of disappointments caused so much 
delay that it was not until towards the close of the seventies that, 
a Jacquard loom having been erected in Ormond Yard, Morris 
was enabled to organize weaving systematically as a branch of 
the firm's work. From that time the industry grew, and was 
carried on by the firm regularly without a break. At the present 
time the looms are situated at Merton Abbey, and have been ever 
since the works there came into the possession of Messrs. Morris 
and Co. Morris drew a number of designs for silk damasks and 
brocades and woven wool-tapestries, as well as a limited number 
for fabrics of silk and linen and of silk and wool. The latter 
combination, as in the case of the " Dove and Rose " material — 
quite apart from the beauty of the design — has an additional 
beauty of texture which is peculiarly delightful ; the weightier 
substance of the wool drawing the slighter-bodied surface of the 
silk into delicate ripples upon which the light plays with charm- 
ing effect. The " Bird and Vine " is a beautiful and characteristic 
design in woollen tapestry, while the " Peacock and Dragon," in 
the same material, is a large pattern for which the artist himself 
had a special liking. One more example may be selected, among 
productions of a later date, viz., the diagonal woollen tapestry 
named the " Trail." The unit of this pattern is as simple as can 
be — a conventional leaf and a single spray of flowers ; yet the 


richest effect is obtained by the simple but ingenious device of 
varying the colour of the woof threads, so that the flowers appear 
alternating horizontally in red, white, and pink. The general 
colour of the web is a warm green in several tones. 

At one time Morris attempted to revive the art of weaving 
velvet with gold tissue, after the method of the superb and 
famous webs of Florence and Venice in the fifteenth century. It 
was an interesting experiment, and such that will in all proba- 
bility prove to have been unique in England during the present 
century. A loom was constructed especially for the purpose, 
and an exquisite design by Morris was reproduced in blue, white, 
and orange velvet pile, with gold thread interwoven in parts, 
Morris assisting personally in the process of manufacture. But 
it was found far too costly to be practical. Only a small quantity 
of this most sumptuous material was ever woven, and the essay 
was not repeated. 

It was about the middle of the seventies when Morris, who 
by that time had ceased to reside at Queen Square, happened 
to be in want of some special shades of silk for embroidery. But 
being unable to get what he needed by other means, he deter- 
mined to start dyeing on his own account. Accordingly, the 
scullery at No. 26, Queen Square, being fitted with coppers, was 
chosen, rough and primitive as was the accommodation, for the 
dyeing; while the kitchen was turned into a drying ground, 
under the charge of the caretaker. From these small beginnings 
sprang what developed subsequently into one of the most indis- 
pensable of all the operations of the firm, to wit, that of dyeing, 
" since upon it," to use Mr. Morris's own words, " is founded all 
the ornamental character of textile fabrics." It was in fact the 
necessity of obtaining a sufficient supply of water for this pur- 
pose that induced Mr. Morris, when in treaty for some more 
commodious place of manufacture than the Queen Square house 
afforded, to decide upon the firm's present workshops on the 
Wandle. Among the several alternatives possible, yet such 
as would have involved the having to journey further afield, 
Merton Abbey, being at a distance not exceeding nine miles from 
London, presented the most convenient spot. Thither the pro- 
cess of dyeing was transferred, and there it has been carried on 
since the summer of 1881. The place had been used formerly for 
dyeing, and tradition says that, in the time of a previous occupier, 
Lord Nelson visited the works and was shown the various pro- 
cesses of the craft. 

Morris began by dyeing skeins of embroidery silk, and then 
proceeded to dye wool for tapestry and carpets, in the manufacture 


of which the firm use none other than their own dyed wool. 
Morris himself went to Leek in order to improve his acquaint- 
ance with the technicalities of the process under the guidance 
of Mr. Thomas Wardle, the well-known expert and eminent 
authority on the dyer's craft. And so, when Morris referred to 
the subject in his lecture at the Health Exhibition in 1884, he 
was entitled to remind his audience that he was " speaking as a 
dyer, and not a scientific person ; " he spoke, that is, as one who 
had had practical experience of the matters whereof he treated ; 
in contradistinction to a theorist whose knowledge must be con- 
fined within the limits of mere book-lore; or on the other hand to 
an experimenting chemist. Indeed, as an artist, Morris felt very 
strongly that the so-called improvements effected by chemical 
science had proved in the highest degree disastrous to the craft 
of dyeing. In his writings on the subject he enumerates the 
successive additions that have been made to the repertory of dye- 
stuffs in historical times, with a view to showing how that the 
practice of primitive ages was materially identical with that of 
later ages, and had in fact remained unspoilt during all the inter- 
vening centuries down to quite recent days. " No change at all," 
says Morris, " befell the art either in the East or the North till 
after the discovery of America ; this gave the dyers one new 
material in itself good and one that was doubtful or bad. The 
good one was the new insect dye, cochineal, which at first was 
used only for dyeing crimson. . . . The bad new material was 
log-wood, so fugitive a dye as to be quite worthless as a colour 
by itself (as it was at first used) and to my mind of very little 
use otherwise. No other new dye-stuff of importance was found 
in America, although the discoverers came across such abund- 
ance of red-dyeing wood growing there that a huge country of 
South America has thence taken its name of Brazil." " About 
the year 1656, ... a Dutch chemist discovered the secret of 
getting a scarlet from cochineal " on a tin basis, " and so produced 
a cheaper, brighter, and uglier scarlet, much to the satisfaction of 
the civilized world." " In the last years of the eighteenth century 
a worthless blue was invented. . . . About the same time a 
rather valuable yellow dye (quercitron bark) was introduced 
from America." Nothing else of moment occurred " up to the 
time of the discovery of the process of Prussian blue dyeing in 
about 1810, . . . which has cheapened and worsened black-dyeing 
in so far as it has taken the place of the indigo vat as a basis." 
" Now these novelties, the sum of which amounts to very little, 
are all that make any difference between the practice of dyeing 
under Rameses the Great and under Queen Victoria, till about 


twenty years ago." (These words were published in 1882. A 
few sentences from another work may best describe what befell 
at the time indicated. The date, to be precise, was 1858.) " Then 
came," says Morris, " one of the most wonderful and most use- 
less of the inventions of modern chemistry, that of the dyes- made 
from coal-tar, producing a series of hideous colours, crude, livid 
— and cheap, — which every person of taste loathes, but which 
nevertheless we can by no means get rid of until we are able to 
struggle successfully against the doom of cheap and nasty which 
has overtaken us." These newly-discovered methods, " from a 
so-called commercial point of view, have been of the greatest 
importance ; for they have, as the phrase goes, revolutionized 
the art of dyeing. The dye-stuffs discovered by the indefatigable 
genius of scientific chemists, which everyone has heard of under 
the name of aniline colours, . . . are brighter and stronger in 
colour than the old dyes . . . and, which is of course of the last 
importance to the dyer, infinitely easier to use. No wonder, 
therefore, that they have almost altogether supplanted the older 
dyes, except in a few cases : surely the invention seems a 
splendid one ! Well, it is only marred by one fact, that being an 
invention for the benefit of an art whose very existence depends 
upon its producing beauty, it is on the road, and far advanced on 
it, towards destroying all beauty in the art. The fact is, that 
every one of these colours is hideous in itself, whereas all the 
old dyes are in themselves beautiful colours — only extreme per- 
versity could make an ugly colour out of them. Under these 
circumstances it must, I suppose, be considered a negative virtue 
in the new dyes, that they are as fugitive as the older ones are 
stable ; but even on that head I will ask you to note one thing 
that condemns them finally, that whereas the old dyes when 
fading, as all colours will do more or less, simply gradually 
changed into paler tints of the same colour, and were not un- 
pleasant to look on, the fading of the new dyes is a change into 
all kinds of abominable and livid hues. I mention this because 
otherwise it might be thought that a man with an artistic eye for 
colour might so blend the hideous but bright aniline colours as to 
produce at least something tolerable ; indeed, this is not unfre- 
quently attempted to-day, but with small success, partly from 
the reason above mentioned, partly because the hues so produced 
by ' messing about,' as I should call it, have none of the quality or 
character which the simpler drug gives naturally : all artists 
will understand what I mean by this." Elsewhere, comparing 
the two classes of dyes, Morris refers to pre-aniline colours as 
follows : " As to the artistic value of these dye-stuffs, most of 

73 u 

which, together with the necessary mordant alumina, the world 
discovered in early times (I mean early historical times), I must 
tell you that they all make in their simplest forms beautiful 
colours ; they need no muddling into artistic usefulness, when 
you need your colours bright (as I hope you usually do), and 
they can be modified and toned without dirtying, as the foul 
blotches of the capitalist dyer cannot be. Like all dyes, they are 
not eternal ; the sun in lighting them and beautifying them con- 
sumes them ; yet gradually and for the most part kindly. . . . 
These colours in fading still remain beautiful, and never, even 
after long wear, pass into nothingness, through that stage of livid 
ugliness which distinguishes the commercial dyes as nuisances, 
even more than their short and by no means merry life." In fine, 
"it is most true that the chemists of our day have made dis- 
coveries almost past belief for their wonder ; they have given us 
a set of colours which has made a new thing of the dyer's craft ; 
commercial enterprise has eagerly seized on the gift, and yet, 
unless all art is to disappear from our woven stuffs, we must turn 
round and utterly and simply reject it." The above passage is 
extracted from the lecture on " The Lesser Arts of Life." Morris 
refers, in very similar terms, in his essay " Of Dyeing as an Art," 
to aniline dyes, which are " deduced," as he says, " by a long 
process from the plants of the coal-measures. Of these dyes it 
must be enough to say that their discovery, while conferring the 
greatest honour on the abstract science of chemistry, and while 
doing great service to capitalists in their hunt for profits, has 
terribly injured the art of dyeing, and for the general public has 
nearly destroyed it as an art. Henceforward there is an absolute 
divorce between the commercial process and the art of dyeing. Any- 
one wanting to produce dyed textiles with any artistic quality in 
them must entirely forgo the modern and commercial methods in 
favour of those which are at least as old as Pliny, who speaks of 
them as being old in his time." After this it is scarcely necessary 
to add that no aniline dyes are admitted, on any pretext, into the 
vats of Messrs. Morris and Co. 

" The art of dyeing, I am bound to say," writes Morris, who 
was well qualified to express an opinion on the subject, " is a 
difficult one, needing for its practice a good craftsman, with 
plenty of experience. Matching a colour by means of it is an 
agreeable but somewhat anxious game to play." In several 
places he has left on record his own personal experiences in the 
use of various dyes. Thus, in the lecture on "^Textile Fabrics," 
already quoted, he says of indigo that " as long as it keeps its 
colour and nature," it " is insoluble and therefore unfit for dyeing ; 


it has therefore to be turned into white indigo by means of deoxi- 
dation, which is effected . . . chiefly by fermentation ; the white 
indigo is then soluble by alkalies ; this deoxidation is called by 
the dyers ' setting the vat ; ' and this setting by means of fermen- 
tation, the oldest and best way, is a very ticklish job, and the 
capacity of doing so indicates the past master in dyeing," though 
perhaps it " seems an easy process " enough. The ancient blue 
dye-stuff has at any rate one advantage, which, as Morris 
points out, is of no little account : " I may note also that no tex- 
tiles dyed blue or green, otherwise than by indigo, keep an 
agreeable colour by candle-light : many quite bright greens 
turning into sheer drab." Elsewhere Morris writes : " I myself 
have dyed wool red," (which was to his mind " above all a dyer's 
colour,") " by the selfsame process that the Mosaical dyers used. 
... If I want for my own use some of the red dye above alluded 
to, I must send to Argolis or Acharnania for it." And although 
this "red insect dye, . . . called by the classical peoples coccus, 
and by the Arabs Al kermes," shares " somewhat in the ill 
qualities of madder for silk," — it is apt, that is, to take off the 
gloss, and was for that reason never used for silk dyeing so 
largely as were some other dyes, — Morris says, again, that he has 
" dyed silk in kermes and got very beautiful and powerful results 
by means of it. . . . Yellow dyes," he continues a little further 
on, " are the commonest to be met with in nature, and our fields 
and hedgerows bear plenty of greening-weeds, as our forefathers 
called them, since they used them chiefly for greening blue 
woollen cloth. ... Of these I have tried poplar and osier twigs, 
which both gave a strong yellow, but the former not a very per- 
manent one." These quotations must suffice. The whole sub- 
ject of dyeing will be found dealt with both fully and clearly in 
Morris's Arts and Crafts Essay. 

From self-colour dyeing was but one step to pattern printing 
on textile fabrics of velveteen, of cotton or linen. " The art of 
dyeing," says Morris, " leads me naturally to the humble but 
useful art of printing on cloth. . . . As to the craft among our- 
selves, it has, as a matter of course, suffered grievously from the 
degradation of dyeing, and this not only from the worsening of 
the tints both in beauty and durability, but from a more intricate 
cause. I have said that the older dyes were much more difficult 
to use than the modern ones. The processes for getting a many- 
coloured pattern on to a piece of cotton, even so short a while 
back as when I was a boy, were many and difficult. As a rule, 
this is done in fewer hours now than it was in days then. . . . 
The natural and healthy difficulties of the old processes, all 


connected as they were with the endeavour to make the colour 
stable, drove any designer who had anything in him to making 
his pattern peculiarly suitable to the whole art, and gave a 
character to it — that character which you so easily recognize in 
Indian palampores, or in the faded curtains of our grandmothers' 
time, which still, in spite of many a summer's sun and many 
and many a strenuous washing, retain at least their reds and 
blues. In spite of the rudeness or the extravagance of these 
things, we are always attracted towards them, and the chief 
reason is, that we feel at once that there is something about the 
designs natural to the craft, that they can be done only by the 
practice of it ; a quality which, I must once more repeat, is a 
necessity for all the designs of the lesser arts. But in the com- 
paratively easy way in which these cloths are printed to-day " — 
worst of all by means of the cylinder-machine — " there are no 
special difficulties to stimulate the designer to invention ; he can 
get any design done on his cloth ; the printer will make no 
objections, so long as the pattern is the right size for his roller, 
and has only the due number of colours. The result of all this is 
ornament on the cotton, which might just as well have been 
printed or drawn on paper, and in spite of any grace or clever- 
ness in the design, it is found to look poor and tame and wiry. 
That you will see clearly enough when someone has had a fancy 
to imitate some of the generous and fertile patterns that were 
once specially designed for the older cloths : it all comes to 
nothing — it is dull, hard, unsympathetic. No ; there is nothing 
for it but the trouble and the simplicity of the earlier craft, if you 
are to have any beauty in cloth-printing at all. And if not, why 
should we trouble to have a pattern of any sort on our cotton 
cloths ? I for one am dead against it, unless the pattern is really 
beautiful ; it is so very worthless if it is not." 

Again, in the Arts and Crafts Essay on " Textiles," Morris 
says : " The remarks made on the designs for mechanically 
woven cloths apply pretty much to these printed stuffs : only, in 
the first place, more play of delicate and pretty colour is possible, 
and more variety of colour also ; and in the second, much more 
use can be made of hatching and dotting, which are obviously 
suitable to the method of block-printing. In the many-coloured 
printed cloths, frank red and blue are again the mainstays of the 
colour arrangement ; these colours, softened by the paler shades 
of red, outlined with black and made more tender by the addition 
of yellow in small quantities, mostly forming part of brightish 
greens, make up the colouring of the old Persian prints, which 
carry the art as far as it can be carried." 


The above conditions which he lays down as requisites for 
the craft Morris has indeed fulfilled abundantly in the number of 
beautiful chintzes, cretonnes, and printed velveteens of which he 
has been the author. He made designs for these materials long 
before he was personally in a position to effect the production 
of them. The firm's earliest blocks for the purpose of pattern- 
printing on textiles were cut by Mr. Clarkson, then of Coventry 
Street, who also cut a roller, to their order, for stamped velvet, 
when the firm had been in existence about ten years. By him 
also, at the beginning, was undertaken the printing of chintzes, 
&c, for the firm. Later on this department of their work was 
carried out on behalf of Messrs. Morris and Co. by Mr. Wardle 
of Leek. But eventually when Morris acquired possession of 
the works at Merton he was able to carry on all these processes 
on his own premises. Of Morris cretonnes and chintzes the 
" Bird and Anemone," in a single print, and one in many colours, 
the " Strawberry Thief," a favourite pattern of the artist's own, 
may well compare as illustrating the variant treatment of orna- 
ment in which bird forms are introduced. The first is a simple 
repeat, while the second is constructed on the basis of a doubled 
pattern. The " Honeysuckle " is an exquisite combination of 
somewhat naturalistic with thoroughly conventional forms ; a 
task that is by no means easy of achievement. The " Wandle " 
design is composed entirely of conventional forms. With its 
large peony-like rosettes breaking, at regular intervals, the 
course of the pronounced diagonal band which forms the chief 
feature ; its intervening spaces filled with a profusion of flowers 
relieved against a background of deep blue, which again is varied 
by a sort of delicate underprinting in white, this is one of the 
richest designs imaginable. It is a marvel that a fabric, so poor 
by comparison, should admit of a decorative effect so splendid 
as this. 

It is about ten or twelve years since pattern-printing on 
white velveteen was first attempted by Morris and Co., a branch 
in which their productions have hitherto proved to be unrivalled 
— the designs, of course, being Morris's and such as no hand but 
his could produce. Of these the " Acanthus," though early in 
point of date, has hardly been surpassed for simple dignity by 
later designs ; while the " Florence " and the " Cherwell " are 
both admirable and well adapted, as patterns, for the particular 
material. There is one, however, than which it is impossible to 
conceive anything more splendid of its kind. It is known as the 
" Severn," and is printed on white velveteen ; yellowish brown 
dots, closely powdered upon the surface, forming a background 

77 x 

against which the main features of the design, large conventional 
flowers and acanthus foliage, outlined in brown, stand out white 
and clear. Together with these, light green leaves and rose-red 
tulips make up the most delicate harmony of colours. The same 
design is printed on a cotton cloth, but the difference of texture 
is such that the two fabrics cannot well be compared with one 

To the art of embroidery, as has been pointed out in a 
previous chapter, Mr. Morris gave his attention right early. 
" Of the design for " this branch of work he writes, " it must be 
said that one of its aims should be the exhibition of beautiful 
material. Furthermore it is not worth doing unless it is either 
very copious and rich, or very delicate — or both. For such an 
art nothing patchy or scrappy, or half-starved, should be done : 
there is no excuse for doing anything which is not strikingly 
beautiful. ... It may be well here to warn those occupied in 
embroidery against the feeble imitations of Japanese art which 
are so disastrously common amongst us. The Japanese are 
admirable naturalists, wonderfully skilful draughtsmen, deft 
beyond all others in mere execution of whatever they take in 
hand ; and also great masters of style within certain narrow 
limitations. But with all this a Japanese design is absolutely 
worthless unless it is executed with Japanese skill. In truth, 
with all their brilliant qualities as handicraftsmen, which have 
so dazzled us, the Japanese have no architectural, and therefore 
no decorative, instinct. Their works of art are isolated and 
blankly individualistic, and in consequence, unless where they 
rise, as they sometimes do, to the dignity of a suggestion for a 
picture (always devoid of human interest), they remain mere 
wonderful toys, things quite outside the pale of the evolution of 
art, which, I repeat, cannot be carried on without the architec- 
tural sense that connects it with the history of mankind." It 
may be permitted to interpolate here some further remarks of 
Morris's, bearing as they do upon the same subject. " It is true," 
so he says in the lecture on "The Lesser Arts of Life," "that 
these non-architectural races (let the Chinese stand as a type of 
them) have no general mastery over the arts, and seem to play 
with them rather than to try to put their souls into them. 
Clumsy-handed as the European or Aryan workman is (of a 
good period, I mean) as compared with his Turanian fellow, 
there is a seriousness and depth of feeling which, when brought 
to bear upon the matter of our daily life, is in fact the soul of 
Architecture, whatever the body may be ; so that I shall still say 
that among ourselves, the men of modern Europe, the existence 


of the other arts is bound up with that of Architecture." And 
again, speaking of certain properties of Chinese work, Morris 
says, " They were indeed valuable qualities in the hands of a 
Chinaman, deft as he was of execution, fertile of design, fanciful 
though not imaginative ; in short, a born maker of pretty toys ; 
but such daintinesses were of little avail to a good workman of 
our race, — . . . he had other work to do . . . than the making of 
toys." The last features to be looked for, then, in Morris orna- 
ment for embroidery, or indeed any other craft, are those which 
characterize either Chinese or Japanese designs. Thus for 
instance the employment of gold thread is almost unknown in 
Morris's embroideries. Whereas the capabilities of needlework 
done while held in the hand, as distinct from that executed while 
stretched in a frame, have been developed to a high degree of 
perfection. In particular very beautiful effects have been ob- 
tained by means of darning stitch in twist silks upon special 
hand-woven cotton and linen cloths, the entire surface of the 
material being covered with solid embroidery. As to the colours 
used it is needless to say that they display to utmost advantage 
the rich and harmonious combinations which distinguish the 
style of Morris. It should be noted beside that the accidental 
irregularities of the dyeing, which rarely produces absolute 
uniformity of tint throughout, imparts to the Morris embroidery- 
silks additional charm and variety of effect. 

William Morris allowed the use of some of his designs to the 
Royal School of Art Needlework in Exhibition Road, Kensington, 
with whose aims and objects, from the time of its foundation in 
1872, he was naturally in sympathy. A bed-hanging from his 
design was worked in the school for the Honourable Mrs. Percy 
Wyndham. In the " Handbook of Embroidery," by L. Higgin, 
edited by Lady Marian Alford, and published by authority of the 
School of Art Needlework in 1880, were reproduced three Morris 
designs, viz., two diapers for embroidered wall-hangings (one of 
them, with honeysuckle and other flowers, being printed in 
colours), and thirdly a border, an adaptation of the same motif as 
the " Marigold " pattern in wall-paper. These instances however 
are exceptions. The majority of Morris's embroidery designs 
remain the property of the firm and are executed through the 
department of which his daughter, Miss May Morris (Mrs. 
Sparling), has for some years past been in charge. This lady is 
not only an excellent worker and teacher of embroidery, but also 
herself of unusual talents as a designer. The amount of 
embroidery undertaken by the firm for ecclesiastical purposes is 
insignificant : the greater portion consisting of domestic work in 


the shape of curtains, table-cloths, squares for cushions, and some 
smaller articles. Although a catalogue of names is powerless to 
convey any idea of the description or beauty of Morris needle- 
work, the " Tulip and Rose," " Olive and Rose," " Rose Wreath," 
" Vine and Pink " and " Flower-pot " patterns by William Morris 
for embroidered cushion-covers ; as also his splendid curtain 
executed in coloured silks upon a background of yellowish green 
linen — all of them shown at one or other of the Arts and Crafts 
Exhibitions in London — may be mentioned as especially fine and 
characteristic examples of his designs for embroidery. 

The record-roll of the domestic arts taken up by William 
Morris's firm would not have been complete without that of 
carpet-making. The earliest of Morris's designs for this craft 
was for Kidderminster carpet. It was a very simple one, called 
the " Grass pattern," and was followed by the " Lily," a small 
pattern again, comprised of lilies and fritillaries, arranged upon 
the scale principle, with a narrow border of chevrons when it 
was intended to serve as a stair-carpet. There being no means 
of executing these carpets upon the premises, they had to be 
woven elsewhere for Messrs. Morris and Co. It happened that 
the designs were not registered, and one of them, the " Lily," was 
appropriated by an unscrupulous manufacturer, who produced it 
on his own account, after having made some minute alteration 
in it by leaving out part of the ply. The manufacturer, when 
confronted with Mr. Morris, owned that he could not rebut the 
charge ; and there the matter ended, to obtain redress being out 
of the question. Wilton and Axminster and, latterly, Brussels 
carpets have in turn been designed by Morris and executed on 
behalf of the firm. It goes without saying that these are all of 
the best quality— indeed Morris would not have been satisfied 
with anything less— as regards material ; and as for design they 
are not a whit below Morris's high standard in other wares. They 
are both pleasant to look at and in every way suited to their 
purpose. But it was not any such kinds of carpets as these that 
Morris had in mind when writing or speaking of the art of carpet- 
weaving. By the latter he meant, to use his own words, " the 
real thing, such as the East has furnished us with from time 
immemorial, and not the makeshift imitation woven by means of 
the Jacquard loom, or otherwise mechanically." This is what, 
elsewhere, he says on the same subject : " Carpet- weaving is 
somewhat of the nature of tapestry : it also is wholly unmecha- 
nical. . . . Carpets form a mosaic of small squares of worsted, or 
hair, or silk threads, tied into a coarse canvas, which is made as 
the work progresses. Owing to the comparative coarseness of 


the work, the designs should always be very elementary in form, 
and suggestive merely of forms of leafage, flowers, beasts and birds, 
&c. The soft gradations of tint to which tapestry lends itself are 
unfit for carpet-weaving ; beauty and variety of colour must be 
attained by harmonious juxtaposition of tints, bounded by judi- 
ciously chosen outlines ; and the pattern should lie absolutely flat 
upon the ground. On the whole, in designing carpets the method 
of contrast is the best one to employ, and blue and red, quite 
frankly used, with white or very light outlines on a dark ground, 
and black or some very dark colour on a light ground, are the 
main colours on which the designer should depend. In making 
the above remarks I have been thinking only of the genuine or 
hand-made carpets. The mechanically-made carpets of to-day 
must be looked upon as makeshifts for cheapness' sake. . . . 
The velvet carpets need the same kind of design as to colour and 
quality as the real carpets ; only, as the colours are necessarily 
limited in number, and the pattern must repeat at certain dis- 
tances, the design should be simpler and smaller than in a real 
carpet. A Kidderminster carpet calls for a small design in which 
the different planes, or plies, as they are called, are well inter- 
locked." In another place, speaking of old Persian carpets, 
Morris describes one class of them as having been " designed on 
scientific principles which any good designer can apply to works 
of our own day without burdening his conscience with the charge 
of plagiarism." And as for the other class of ancient carpets, 
with Persian floral designs, he says, " These, beautiful as they 
are in colour, are as far as possible from lacking form in design ; 
they are fertile of imagination and rich in drawing ; and though 
imitation of them would carry with it its usual disastrous conse- 
quences, they show us the way to set about designing such like 
things, and that a carpet can be made which by no means 
depends for its success on the mere instinct of colour." Again, 
" To us pattern designers," says Morris, " Persia has become a 
holy land, for there in the process of time our art was perfected, 
and thence above all places it spread to cover for a while the 
world, east and west." He would commend " the designers of 
time past . . . and the usefulness of the lives of these men . . . 
whose names are long forgotten, but whose works we still wonder 
at. In their own way they meant to tell us how the flowers grew 
in the gardens of Damascus, or how the hunt was up on the plains 
of Kirman, or how the tulips shone among the grass in the 
Mid-Persian valley, and how their souls delighted in it all, and 
what joy they had in life ; nor did they fail to make their meaning 
clear to some of us." So much for the past. But the future of 

81 Y 

Eastern art had only gloomy prospects for him. He could not 
sufficiently deplore the action of the Government in " manufactur- 
ing cheap Indian carpets in the Indian gaols. ... In this case, 
the Government . . . has determined that it will make its wares 
cheap, whether it make them nasty or not. Cheap and nasty they 
are, I assure you ; but, though they are the worst of their kind, 
they would not be made thus, if everything did not tend the same 
■way. And it is the same everywhere and with all Indian manu- 
factures. ... In short, their art is dead, and the commerce of 
modern civilization has slain it. What is going on in India is 
also going on, more or less, all over the East ; but I have spoken 
of India chiefly because I cannot help thinking that we ourselves 
are responsible for what is happening there." " Withal," wrote 
Morris in another place, " one thing seems certain, that if we 
don't set to work making our own carpets it will not be long 
before we shall find the East fail us : for that last gift, the gift of 
the sense of harmonious colour, is speedily dying out in the East 
before the conquests of European rifles and money-bags." 

Stirred, then, by some such apprehensions as are expressed 
by him in the foregoing passages, and at the same time conscious, 
no doubt, of his own personal fitness, before all others, for the task, 
William Morris formed the fixed determination to rescue, by his 
own effort, the perishing art of carpet-weaving. He began 
accordingly to make a systematic study of an antique Persian 
carpet, examining and analysing its every detail, until at length 
he had mastered the method of construction to the extent of being 
able to start weaving in the same manner with his own hands. 
Thus, from his own designs and with his own dyed wool, a 
certain quantity of pile-carpet squares were produced, under the 
immediate direction of his helping hand, in a loom set up in the 
back attic at Queen Square. But ere long the industry outgrew 
these narrow bounds, and was transferred to the coach-house 
adjoining Morris's house at Hammersmith, where looms were 
set up and a certain number of women were employed in the 
weaving. Thence it was that these splendid pile fabrics of 
Morris and Co.'s came by the name of " Hammersmith " carpets, 
by which they are now always known. In some instances the 
device of a hammer, in allusion to the place of manufacture, was 
woven into the borders of the carpets. In this connection it may 
be mentioned by the way that no other formal trademark was 
adopted by the firm ; unless indeed one excepts the device of two 
doves, flying together somewhat in the attitude of the swallows 
on willow pattern china, — a badge which was designed by Madox 
Brown and was in use by the original company in the early 


period of their career. From Hammersmith the carpet-weaving 
was moved to Merton Abbey, where it is now carried on, and 
constitutes not the least flourishing industry of the firm. 

In the matter of carpets, no less than in that of every other 
craft taken in hand by Morris, his own words provide the best 
commentary that could be found ; since his own productions do 
not fail to satisfy the most stringent canons which he formulated 
for the right conduct of the art. And his carpet-making furnishes 
a very excellent case in point. Here was a craft with definite 
limitations such as might on no account be ignored nor over- 
stepped ; a craft moreover which had already on its native soil 
been carried to what anyone might have assumed to be the goal 
of its highest attainable perfection. Its former glories had long 
since passed away, and yet Morris undertook to resuscitate it, 
nor was daunted by the magnitude of the task. Notwithstanding 
that to manufacture carpets for modern folk living in modern 
dwellings did not seem to afford much scope for the employment 
of the artistic faculty, Morris embarked upon the enterprise. 
By applying in present day carpet-making those principles that 
diligent research had discovered to him -were they which 
governed the practice of the art at its zenith, he proved it to be 
capable of yet further development, and more beautiful, than it 
had undergone for centuries. Those who visited the Arts and 
Crafts Exhibition of 1893 will recall the magnificent pile carpet 
exhibited by Messrs. Morris and Co., which was the principal 
object in the West Gallery there. It was designed by Morris and 
manufactured specially for Mr. Sanderson at Buller's Wood — 
whence its name. This carpet does not come under the head of 
those more common and rudimentary patterns referred to in the 
lecture of Morris's above quoted. On the contrary, it belongs to 
the more elaborate and complex order. It is not copied, of course, 
from oriental work, but evolved rather out of the English artist's 
brilliant powers of invention. At the same time it is such that 
no Persian handicraftsman in the palmiest days of the carpet- 
weaving art need have been ashamed of, if but he had been 
entitled to claim it as his own. 

Allied to carpet-craft is " the noblest of the weaving arts," to 
wit, that of tapestry, known under the specific name of Arras. 
The conditions of carpet and tapestry weaving are alike, and 
such that entail a very similar mode of execution, similar material 
and similar apparatus. The latter is simplicity itself. In fact, 
neither industry is one which demands "the help of anything that 
can fairly be called machine : little more is needed than a frame 
which will support heavy beams on which we may strain our 


warp : our work is purely hand-work — we may do what we will 
according to the fineness of our warp." Tapestry making "re- 
quires but a very small amount of technical, though often much 
artistic, skill." The purpose of the craft is the production of 
" what may fairly be called woven pictures ; webs whose elabora- 
tion and want of repetition of pattern would scarcely allow of any 
reasonable effect being produced by mere mechanical weaving." 
In the Arts and Crafts Essay on " Textiles " is Morris's descrip- 
tion of the art as it should be : " It may be looked upon," he says, 
" as a mosaic of pieces of colour made up of dyed threads, and is 
capable of producing wall ornament of any degree of elaboration 
within the proper limits of duly considered decorative work. As 
in all wall-decoration, the first thing to be considered in the 
designing of Tapestry is the force, purity and elegance of the 
silhouette of the objects represented, and nothing vague or indeter- 
minate is admissible. But special excellences can be expected 
from it. Depth of tone, richness of colour, and exquisite grada- 
tions of tints are easily to be obtained in tapestry ; and it also 
demands that crispness and abundance of beautiful detail which 
was the especial characteristic of fully developed Mediaeval Art." 
The method of weaving which William Morris proposed to 
revive was the traditional one, the same which survives to this 
day at the Gobelins factory, viz., that of the vertical loom, or 
haute lisse as it is called to distinguish it from the basse lisse, or 
horizontal loom, where the weaver looks down upon the face of 
the web as he works ; whereas in the case of the high warp loom 
the weaver is seated at the back and can only see the front of the 
web by looking through the warp threads at its reflection in a 
mirror. This system of weaving is demonstrated in the model of 
a haute lisse tapestry loom which Mr. Morris gave to the South 
Kensington Museum in 1893 (Catalogue number 156). At the 
time when it occurred to him to start hand-weaving according to 
the ancient plan, it was a thing extinct in this country. In fact 
the last work of the kind in England was the industry which had 
been carried on at Mortlake and which was stopped by the 
Protector Cromwell. Thus there was no working model at hand 
to which Morris could refer for practical illustration of the method 
of weaving. It is true that the other system had been inaugurated 
by the opening of the Royal Tapestry Works at Windsor, as 
Morris showed in his lecture on " The Lesser Arts of Life," 
wherein he remarked : " I am sorry to have to say that an 
attempt to set the art going, which has been made, doubtless 
with the best intentions, under royal patronage at Windsor, 
within the last few years, has most unluckily gone on the lines 


of the work at the Gobelins, and if it does not change its system 
utterly, is doomed to artistic failure, whatever its commercial 
success may be." The prediction was fulfilled only too surely. 
The Windsor tapestry factory did not manage to attract the 
custom of the public by means of the landscapes and other realistic 
representations which it produced, and a few years ago the estab- 
lishment was definitely closed, the plant sold, and the staff of 
workers disbanded. Nor was there much to be learnt elsewhere. 
For, as to the craft in France at the present day, its " poor 
remains" lie " in that mud of degradation " into which they were 
dragged by " the establishment of that hatching nest of stupidity, 
the Gobelins," which changed tapestry weaving, from having 
been " a fine art " and a noble, into a mere " upholsterer's toy." 
" If you are curious on the subject of its technique you may see 
that going on as in its earlier, or let us say real, life at the 
Gobelins at Paris ; but it is a melancholy sight : the workmen 
are as handy at it as only Frenchmen can be at such work, and 
their skill is traditional too, I have heard ; for they are the sons, 
grandsons, and great-grandsons of tapestry- weavers. Well, their 
ingenuity is put to the greatest pains for the least results : it 
would be a mild word to say that what they make is worthless ; 
it is more than that ; it has a corrupting and deadening influence 
upon all the Lesser Arts of France, since it is always put forward 
as the very standard and crown of all that those arts can do at 
the best : a more idiotic waste of human labour and skill it is 
impossible to conceive. There is another branch of the same 
stupidity, differing slightly in technique, at Beauvais ; and the 
little town of Aubusson in mid-France has a decaying commer- 
cial industry of the like rubbish." Thus Morris felt constrained 
to refer to the art of tapestry as something that " must be spoken 
of in the past tense." And moreover he deemed it necessary to 
apologize to his audience for addressing them at any length on 
so ineffectual a subject as an art which had " practically perished." 
At the same time, " There is nothing whatever," he urged, " to 
prevent us from reviving it if we please, since the technique of it 
is easy to the last degree." These words appeared in 1882. 
Already by that date Morris had achieved somewhat in the 
direction of the revival he advocated. In default of any existing 
instance available where the actual weaving process might be 
observed, Morris had had to pick up the details of the craft, as 
best he might, from an old French official handbook, published 
prior to the Revolution. He caused a handloom to be set up in 
his bedroom at Kelmscott House, Hammersmith, and, so as not 
to let this new undertaking of his interfere with his ordinary 

85 z 

occupations, he used to rise betimes and practise weaving in the 
early hours of the morning. By following out the instructions 
he gathered from his printed guide, Morris gradually overcame 
the difficulties of the craft and became a proficient weaver him- 
self. With his own hand he wove a beautiful piece of tapestry, 
designed by himself with birds and foliage, for a private gift. In 
one or two respects he even improved upon the instructions given 
in the French book. For example, the plan therein recommended 
for marking on the warp threads the design to be woven was to 
use charcoal. But experience showed Morris that this method 
was inadequate, because the charcoal, in the process of working, 
quickly got rubbed off, before the outline of the pattern had stood 
long enough to be carried into execution. Accordingly, with the 
aid of Mr. Campfield, he devised a more permanent means of 
fixing the outline, by holding a brush, dipped in Indian ink, to 
the warp thread at the point required, and then twirling the 
thread round between the finger and thumb so as to mark it 
thoroughly and thus avoid the risk of obliteration. In his earliest 
experiments in weaving, conducted, on behalf of the firm, as far 
back as the year 1878, Mr. Morris had the assistance of Mr. H. 
Dearie, to whom he imparted what he himself had learned of the 
art. Their first efforts were confined to floral designs, with the 
occasional introduction of birds into the composition. The first 
time that figure-weaving was attempted was at Merton in 1881, 
the subject being the " Goose Girl," from a cartoon by Mr. Walter 
Crane. Thenceforward, with one exception, the figures were 
always designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Among the 
earlier tapestries of the firm of Morris and Co. were two of the 
type known by the technical name of " Verdura ; " both shown at 
the Exhibition of Arts and Crafts in 1888. One of them, an up- 
right panel, designed by W. Morris, is an admirable instance of 
the adaptability of his bold, sweeping leaf-scrolls to this kind of 
work. It is called " The Woodpecker," after the main incident 
depicted in it, and is ornamented above and below with ribbon- 
scrolls bearing verses from the pen of Mr. Morris — verses 
included in the collection of " Poems by the Way." The other 
is a horizontal panel, woven for Mr. Alexander Ionides. It is 
named " The Forest." The foliage and flowers were designed 
by Mr. Morris and Mr. Dearie respectively, but the animals 
introduced into the composition — a lion and a fox — were from 
cartoons by Mr. Philip Webb. These however, being in the 
latter's wonted zoological style, do not seem quite in keeping 
with their severely conventional surroundings. Designs in which 
the contrary elements of realism and decoration are combined in 


so marked a way as this seldom produce satisfactory effects. 
More commonly a loss of organic unity is the result. In the 
particular case in point one cannot help deploring the fact, and 
feeling that a far more harmonious effect would have been 
obtained had the whole of this tapestry been designed by 
William Morris alone, or at any rate by none other than those 
who, by training, have acquired his ornamental manner. In the 
two tapestry panels entitled " Flora " and " Pomona," each with 
an allegorical figure designed by Burne-Jones, very similar 
"verdura" backgrounds occur; rabbits and birds being intro- 
duced in the " Flora " panel with excellent effect amid the 
flowers and wreathing acanthus foliage. Either panel has 
scrolls with two quatrains, written by Morris and published in 
" Poems by the Way " in 1891. 

Messrs. Morris and Co.'s first large figure-subject tapestry, 
and perhaps also their best known work of this kind, was " The 
Star of Bethlehem " panel, designed by Burne-Jones for Exeter 
College Chapel at Oxford, and completed in April, 1890. It was 
but fitting that the two friends should have the opportunity to 
unite together thus in the beautifying of their old college. Un- 
fortunately this splendid piece of tapestry, the joint product of 
Morris and Burne-Jones, is ill-shown in the position in which it 
is fixed, against the south wall of the edifice : and yet it is a 
veritable treasure and deserves to be made more of than it is, 
since — alas, that it should have to be said ! — it is the only artistic 
object in the chapel that enshrines it. The new building is 
indeed such that could not possibly commend itself to Mr. 
Morris, who always regretted the disappearance of the plain 
old building that stood in its place in his undergraduate days. 
How much beauty of decorative detail in " The Star of Beth- 
lehem " tapestry was due to Morris and Co. may be perceived by 
comparison of their woven panel with Burne-Jones's drawing as 
brought to its final state in 1891. The discrepancies in the two 
versions represent the amount that the artist in his cartoon 
left blank for Morris and Co. to fill in before they executed it in 
arras ; these very parts being supplied eventually by Burne- 
Jones with ornaments of an entirely different design. The 
lilies, irises, tulips, borage, heartsease, and other fl owers in the 
foreground of the tapestry were indicated but slightly and 
sketchily in the original, and all of them had to be drawn afresh 
in definite shape by Morris and Co., as were also the patterns on 
the draperies, the jewellery, &c. The firm was called upon twice 
subsequently to produce replicas of " The Star of Bethlehem," 
one of them being a commission from Mr. Wilfrid Scawen Blunt. 


In one single instance, and that a notable one for the very 
reason that he did so, Mr. Morris provided a set of four figures 
from drawings by his own hand, to be reproduced in Arras 
tapestry, which was shown at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition of 
1893. These, by the way, were the same figures which he had 
designed in the first instance for the roof of Jesus College Chapel, 
Cambridge. Only, whereas the angels in the original decoration 
hold in their hands a scroll inscribed with the words of an 
ancient hymn, in the latter case the figures display, in place of 
the hymn, some verses from the pen of William Morris, beginning, 
" Midst bitten mead and acre shorn," &c, and published under 
the title-heading of " The Orchard " in " Poems by the Way." 
This specimen (apart from the figures, which, contrary to his 
wont, as has been shown, Morris designed himself,) may serve 
as a typical example of how, among the several persons partici- 
pating in the execution of any given piece of tapestry at Merton 
Abbey works, each one's share was apportioned. The fruit-trees 
in the background were designed by Mr. Morris ; the flowers in 
the foreground by Mr. Dearie ; and the diapers and minor details 
of the ornament by those whose hands were engaged in the 
actual weaving. 

The Morris window in Salisbury Cathedral, designed by 
Burne-Jones and representing groups of ministering and praising 
angels, has been mentioned already. The identical figures have 
since been adapted, in subdued blues and reds, with a dull but 
rich-coloured background of foliage and flowers, with borders, 
&c, and worked out in two panels of Arras tapestry by Messrs. 
Morris and Co. ; and that with results so fine that the disquieting 
question perforce suggests itself whether these cartoons are not 
more appropriate to the latter medium. In that event it follows 
—does it not ? — that they are scarcely in the best manner of 
design for stained glass too. Had the lead-glazing and the con- 
sequent subdivision of surface been, as they ought, an integral 
part of the original conception, it must have been a literal 
impossibility to convert the cartoons, by the omission of their lead 
lines or by any other means, into proper designs for tapestry 
treatment. Lest there should be any doubt about it, take an 
instance of stained glass as it is seen at its perfection of maturity 
in the fifteenth century, say in the ante-chapel of New College, 
Oxford, or of All Souls' ; at Thornhill Church, Yorkshire, or at 
Fairford : imagine a window from any one of these places drawn 
out upon paper and then executed in arras in the loom. The thing 
is preposterous ! The very character and conditions which go to 
make the excellence of a design for one branch of art work, 


almost necessarily disqualify the same design from being carried 
out in any other form ; the measure of its fitness for the one 
being in inverse ratio to its fitness for the other. And if this rule 
be such as holds good generally, even in respect of arts which are 
nearly akin to one another; how much more forcibly does it 
apply in the case of two so diverse as glass painting and tapestry 
weaving! The principle, after all, is one which Morris himself 
has laid down and emphasized again and again in his own 
writings and public utterances. However, since tapestry is of 
the nature of woven picture-work, paintings certainly lend them- 
selves, of all branches of art, to more legitimate adaptations than 
any other for this material. Thus the figures painted at Jesus 
College, when, years afterwards, they were modified and intro- 
duced into a tapestry hanging, did not seem to have suffered in 
the process, nor to be in any way out of keeping with the compo- 
sition. On the other hand, there can be little disputing that " The 
Star of Bethlehem," designed as it was ab initio for tapestry, is 
far more satisfactory in that medium even than when worked 
up from the cartoon into the form of the large water-colour 
picture commissioned by the directors of the Municipal Art 
Gallery at Birmingham. Another and a later work of the class 
of adaptations in tapestry, to wit, a copy of Sandro Botticelli's 
" Primavera," cannot claim to be particularly happy in effect. It 
was exhibited at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 1896. For the 
choice of subject it may not indeed be fair to hold Mr. Morris 
responsible, since the tapestry was woven specially to the order 
of Mr. Blunt. Of this panel Miss Mabel Cox, in " The Artist," 
remarks : " The colouring is especially good, the faded tones of 
the old colours being reproduced without any loss of the rich 
glow. To do this is to encounter no small difficulty, considering 
the material under command." The same writer, while pro- 
nouncing that the subject " is certainly a good design for tapes- 
try," is obliged to admit that " it is by no means certain, however, 
that lovers of Botticelli's masterpiece will be pleased to see it in 
its new form." 

Of Morris and Co.'s tapestry the most important work 
altogether, and one that may justly be described as monumental, 
is that executed from Sir Edward Burne-Jones's designs for the 
dining-room at Stanmore Hall. The scheme of this decoration is 
to illustrate the Arthurian romance, more particularly that part 
of the legend which deals with the quest of the San-Graal. The 
main division consists of a series of figure subject panels. Their 
height is uniformly eight feet, but they vary in width according 
to the dimensions of the several spaces they have to fill round 

89 A A 

the room. Of these panels it will suffice to describe one, which, 
though neither the largest nor the most conspicuous, is yet, in 
point of beauty, second to none in the set. The subject is " The 
Failure of Sir Lancelot." It contains but two figures. In the 
foreground Sir Lancelot is represented lying asleep, his back 
leaning against the stone side of a water-cistern, his feet point- 
ing to the door, shut against him and guarded by an angel-warder 
of the Temple of the Holy Grail. The angel's wings, blue as the 
depths of a sapphire, harmonize with the paler blue of his sleeves ; 
while his white and yellow brocaded robe contrasts with the rich 
crimson surcoat of the mailed knight, whose limbs are encased 
partly in plate, partly in chain, armour. The execution of the 
latter must have needed almost as much technical skill as do 
human features. In this case the difficulty was greatly enhanced 
by the fact that the whole composition is in a subdued tone of 
colour, with beams of strong light streaming through the chinks 
of the door and glinting, where they fall, upon armour and blades 
of grass. A masterly reserve together with the utmost delicacy 
of treatment were required to save a scene treated in such a 
manner as this from degenerating into melodrama. But the feat 
has been accomplished nevertheless. Other panels depict " The 
arrival of Sir Galahad to take his place in the Siege Perilous," 
" The Knights departing on the Quest," " The Failure of Sir 
Gawaine," " The Vision of the Holy Grail," and, what is really a 
part of the last subject, a ship riding at anchor at a short distance 
from the shore which, strewn with shells and overgrown with 
tufts of coarse grass, occupies the foreground. 

The panels which form the upper and principal division of 
the Stanmore Hall tapestries are woven separately from the 
lower part, which runs beneath in the form of a detached band 
nearly five feet deep. Along the top of this dado is a scroll, with 
a legend giving a brief explanation of the particular subject which 
is represented immediately above. Below the scroll is repre- 
sented a deer-haunted thicket, upon the branches of which are 
hung the escutcheons of the Knights of the Round Table, all 
with their proper heraldic charges. The different pieces of 
tapestry which compose this magnificent set were placed in situ 
severally, as they were finished ; the entire work from first to 
last occupying between three and four years to complete. 

In the various specimens of tapestry woven by Messrs. 
Morris and Co. the same texture is not to be found in every case. 
Thus, for bold effects a thicker wool was used, which required 
fewer stitches in a given space, and entailed therefore less work 
proportionately than the finer specimens. At one time the firm 


endeavoured to obtain in the coarser tapestries a better finish in 
the faces, and so on, by introducing in those parts a greater 
number of warp threads and using a finer wool, but, the result 
not proving satisfactory, the attempt was not renewed. For the 
Stanmore series, notwithstanding their large scale, a moderately 
fine web was decided upon, of a uniform texture, i.e., the warp 
threads sixteen to the inch throughout. Questioned with regard 
to the latter work by a representative of " The Daily Chronicle," 
Mr. Morris explained that one of the larger panels, the same that 
was exhibited at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 1893, had taken 
two years to weave. It was the handiwork of three persons, as 
many that is as could sit comfortably side by side across the 
warp. " The people who made it — and this is by far the most 
interesting thing about it — are boys, at least they are grown up 
by this time — entirely trained in our own shop. It is really free- 
hand work, remember, not slavishly copying a pattern, like the 
' basse lisse ' method ; and they came to us with no knowledge of 
drawing whatever, and have learnt every single thing they know 
under our training. And most beautifully they have done it ! I 
don't think you could want a better example than this of the value 
of apprenticeship. Our superintendent, Mr. Dearie, has of course 
been closely watching the work all the time, and perhaps he has 
put in a few bits, like the hands and the faces, with his own 
hands ; but with this exception every bit has been done by these 

In the case of the tapestry designed by Sir Edward Burne- 
Jones, it was not that artist's usual custom to supply full-size 
working cartoons. His original drawings for the Stanmore series 
are not above fifteen inches high. He prepared these compositions 
from studies of figures and groups drawn with his wonted care ; 
but, for the rest, there was little else beyond slight colour-tinting 
to serve as guide in the execution of the work. Such being the 
condition in which the designs came into Messrs. Morris and Co.'s 
hands, it was necessary for each of these drawings to be enlarged 
by photography, in squares varying in size and number according 
to the full dimensions required. These enlarged sections were 
then fitted together, and the whole, now of the proper size, sub- 
mitted, together with a small coloured sketch showing the scheme 
of colouring proposed by the firm, to the designer for his approval 
or revision. On these enlargements Burne-Jones confined him- 
self, for the most part, to working up the heads and hands ; pre- 
ferringto leave the ornamental accessories, the patterns of brocades 
on the draperies, the flowers, etc., to Messrs. Morris and Co., on 
whose behalf they were generally undertaken by Mr. Dearie, who 


has been associated with Mr. Morris in the work for many years 
past. Over and above Mr. Dearie's share in the matter, consider- 
able latitude in the choice and arrangement of tints in shading, 
&c, was, and is, invariably allowed to the executants themselves, 
who are, in fact, both by nature and training, artists and no mere 
animated machines. All three of the tapestry looms at Merton 
are constructed on the high warp system, that being the method 
of hand-weaving which Mr. Morris approved, and the only one, 
therefore, which he cared to revive. 

One of the vicissitudes of the firm was a fire which occurred 
in October, 1877, caused, as it was believed, through the igniting 
of a beam in a chimney of the house at Queen Square, the result 
being that the back premises were gutted and much valuable 
property belonging to the firm destroyed, to say nothing of the 
dislocation of business or of the disorder and inconvenience 
unavoidable during the rebuilding. The loss included the stock 
of linoleum then ready for use and lying stored up in that part of 
the building which was burnt. No branch of decoration, however 
humble and commonplace, came amiss to William Morris. He 
designed and caused to be carried out two patterns for linoleum, 
that useful form of floor-covering which is commonly not to be 
obtained except of such fashion that a great many persons are 
deterred from using it. For is it not next to impossible for any- 
one of taste to put up with the vicious counterfeits of parquetry, 
encaustic tiles, mosaic, Chinese matting, Brussels carpet, Berlin 
wool-work, and such like, which comprise the more part of com- 
mercial patterns in oil-cloths, linoleums, &c. ? Morris was clearly 
of that opinion when he undertook to design for this material. 

Messrs. Morris and Co.'s furniture was not of William Morris's 
own design, flat ornament being essentially his mdtier. Long before 
the business of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. was started, 
Madox Brown had been designing furniture, and in that capacity 
had had the mortification of being refused a place in the exhibitions 
of the old Hogarth Club, because, forsooth, his designs were not, 
in the eyes of the committee, to be regarded as " fine art proper." 
When, however, the firm, largely owing to his instrumentality, 
had come into existence, both Madox Brown and Rossetti, too, 
supplied a certain number of designs for furniture. A larger 
quantity were provided by Mr. Webb ; and, still more recently, 
Mr. George Jack, a pupil of Mr. Webb's, designed furniture for the 
firm. Morris used to regret the decay of the art of carving at the 
present day, and the consequent difficulty of obtaining suitable 
carving for the ornamentation of furniture, &c. However, that of 
Mr. Jack supplies some admirable examples, while other furniture 


of the firm is decorated with inlay or painted ornament of good 
design in a style to harmonize with Morris fabrics. In the early 
days the cabinet-making and carpentry were carried on in the 
workshop belonging to the firm in Ormond Yard. Quite lately 
they purchased the business of Messrs. Holland and Son, in whose 
former premises all the cabinet-work, &c, on the part of Messrs. 
Morris and Co. is now executed. 

The firm since their foundation have undertaken in whole or 
in part the furnishing and decorating of a large number of private 
houses ; as, for instance, the Old Swan House at Chelsea and 
Stanmore Hall, Stanmore, the country residence of Mr. W. K. 
D'Arcy. The interior of the latter, a very characteristic house, is 
thus described in " The Studio " of September, 1893 : " The interest 
lies in the applied decoration added to a building seventy years 
old, which had been remodelled some time since by Mr. Brightwen 
Binyon. But it is only with the final re-decoration that we are 
concerned here. In this Messrs. William Morris and Co. have 
had a free hand, not merely in such matters as usually fall within 
the scope of decorators, but in the hangings, furniture, and carpets. 
Hence the work shows a curious instance of one very individual 
artist fettered by existing features not in themselves remarkable, 
in a building not ideally adapted to his particular style ; but, on 
the other hand, with control of many matters that do not usually 
come within the limits of either architect or decorator — particu- 
larly the carpets, which, designed specially for the places they 
occupy, form an extremely important feature in Mr. Morris's 
scheme of colour. The dining-room, however, was built anew, 
and in it one feels the larger scope at the artist's disposal has 
resulted in more complete beauty. Its chimney-piece of solid 
white marble is ... of the fashion Mr. Morris employed many 
years ago in his own house at Bexley Heath." A description has 
been given above of the series of tapestries designed to represent 
scenes from the romance of King Arthur, and manufactured by 
Morris and Co. for the dining-room at Stanmore. " The tables 
and chairs, the buffet . . . and the dining hatch, deserve special 
notice, while the carpet is perhaps the most noteworthy item in a 
splendid room, since it is one of Mr. Morris's most successful 
designs and large enough to extort admiration on that ground 
alone. The ceiling, in delicately moulded plaster, also commands 
attention, and yet keeps its right place. The painted ceilings, 
both in the entrance hall and staircase, deserve study, not because 
they are ' hand-painted,' but because of their beautiful forms and 
dainty colours. The delicate tones, like those of embroidery on 
old white silk, are in shades of pinks, purples, tender greens, and 

93 b B 

spring yellows, on a pale creamy ground, the whole bright yet 
light and with an aerial effect. . . . This lightness of the ceilings 
and carpets, with the untouched oak of much of the panelling and 
furniture, gives an air of gaiety . . . most unusual in work of this 
school. On the walls of the vestibule a delicate pattern in . . . 
silk and linen, and in the drawing-room a rich warm silk tapestry, 
unite in preserving the same harmony of sumptuous decoration 
kept within proper proportion. One has but to compare Stanmore 
Hall with houses of equally elaborate adornment to feel that in 
this respect it has no rival. The large ornament and bold forms 
Mr. Morris delights in, prove their power to blend into a perfect 
whole, elaborate but in no way overwhelming. The modelled 
ceiling in the vestibule, and several others in the house, are left 
in pure low-toned white, so that their rich decoration keeps its 
place. The staircase, with its solid balustrade of oak inlaid with 
dark walnut, is an important feature in the central hall." 

The firm have appeared before the public in yet another way, 
to wit, in the capacity of stage decorators, to whom two plays by 
Mr. Henry Arthur Jones owed their settings more or less. The 
first was " The Crusaders," which had a run of three months 
from the beginning of November, 1891, at the Avenue Theatre ; 
the other, " The Case of Rebellious Susan," of which the first 
performance, under the management of Mr. Charles Wyndham, 
took place at the Criterion Theatre early in the year 1895, a & s * 
and 3 being arranged by Messrs. Morris and Co. 

The firm have been represented from time to time at exhibi- 
tions of industrial art in the provinces as well as in the metro- 
polis. The several Arts and Crafts Exhibitions that have been 
held in London and in Manchester, for instance, were supplied 
with plentiful selections of Messrs. Morris and Co.'s products in 
the various branches of design and handicraft in which they are 
engaged. In such ways as this, so far from being close-handed 
or jealous of exposing his designs too openly, Mr. Morris was 
well known for his liberality. Quite careless of his own interests 
in the matter of copyrights, &c, he used freely to send specimens 
of his wall-papers and textiles to different local schools of art all 
over the country, until unhappily it was found that unfair advan- 
tage of his generosity was so often taken that of late years the 
supplies had to be stopped. 

In 1877 Messrs. Morris and Co. took their present premises at 
449, Oxford Street, comprising shop-front, show-rooms, offices, 
&c, but the business still continued to be carried on in part at 
the old place in Queen Square until the end of 1881, when every- 
thing that remained was definitely transferred thence to the 



Oxford Street house. Meanwhile the firm had acquired the 
property at Merton, Surrey, and set up their works on the former 
site of the abbey, in June, 1881. Morris kept the place in much 
the same condition in which he found it, with the exception of 
some slight renovations to the weaving-shed. Since it is not 
without interest to learn how others see us — how such things 
strike a foreigner, a short extract on the subject of Morris and 
Co.'s works from " Passe le Detroit," by M. Gabriel Mourey, may 
not be out of place. The French critic gives his impressions 
thus : " The art workshops of Merton Abbey stand in an immense 
field amid tall trees and charming scenery. Workshops did I 
say? It is an ugly word that conjures up visions of grimy 
smoke, creaking machinery, and bodily toil. No, there is nothing 
of all that. It is a sort of large farmhouse built on one floor, 
surrounded by foliage and greenery, close by the bank of a small 
stream, the Wandle, which winds in and out with happy, joyous 
murmurs. Such is the workshop of Merton Abbey. Nothing is 
manufactured there except by hand. No machine-power is used, 
either steam or electric, but implements of the simplest construc- 
tion, the most primitive in kind, the old tools, the old handicrafts 
of four or five centuries ago. The predominant feature is that 
the artisan is allowed almost perfect liberty of talent and imagi- 
nation in the development of his work. This is especially the 


case in the tapestry and glass-work studios, where the most 
exquisite marvels of art are turned out. The workman takes 
part in the work, becomes artist, and imparts his own personality 
to the thing created, of which a rough plan has first been drawn 
up by the master. The hand-press is used, as at ' Kelmscott,' or 
the velvet and cretonne work is done directly with the hand. 
Thus is avoided that monotonous stiffness peculiar to the work of 
modern machinery, and further, it encourages the workman to 
take a more personal interest in his labour." 

On the same subject Mr. Alan S. Cole writes in " The Art 
Journal " in 1893 : " I may be mistaken, but I believe that in this 
country Mr. Morris stands alone in the variety of intricate hand- 
woven silks, &c, which he produces. Many are, no doubt, resus- 
citations of ingenious twelfth-century methods. But for an 
occasional distant whistle and rumble of trains, a twelfth-century 
Sicilian weaver might, without sense of anomaly, take his seat in 
the weaving-shed at Merton, and find himself almost as much at 
home with the handicrafts pursued there as he was seven hundred 
years ago with those which engaged him in the palace at Palermo. 
... In Mr. Morris's factory, apparently in contradiction of a 
modern spirit of specializing and separately pursuing branches of 
textile manufacture and treatment, are to be found in operation 
the three technically distinct forms of weaving — namely, tapestry, 
carpet, and ordinary shuttle weaving. . . . Besides these, there 
are rooms for dyeing wools and threads used in the looms and 
frames, a long upper story where cotton and other printing by 
hand-blocks is done, and store-rooms and offices. Adjoining the 
irregular group of workshops, and commanding a view of the 
garden, with its trees, and stream, is a last century house, in 
which is Mr. Morris's studio, and from which he has easy access 
to his workrooms. An extra ounce of indigo to strengthen the 
dye, an additional five minutes' immersion of threads in the vat, 
a weft of colour to be swept through the warp in a moment of 
inspiration, a dappling of bright points to lighten some over- 
sombre hue in the grounding of a carpet, are some of the details 
in technical and artistic administration constantly receiving the 
attention of the director of the establishment, who thus secures 
a standard of artistic production at which the systematized opera- 
tions of a steam-driven factory have not arrived." 

Again, a writer in " The Spectator " of November 24th, 1883, 
in an article " On the Wandle," describing the Abbey works at 
Merton, says that to anyone " passing through the gates from the 
high road, the mill and Wandle present themselves much mixed 
up together. The river as we saw it was shimmering in the 



sunlight of a bright November afternoon ; little eddies of the 
stream carried light and glimmer into dark corners, round the 
many angles of the scattered building. Near its edge the stream 
is shedded over, to protect some bright-brown wooden pegs, 
turning on a wheel, through the mysteries of which bright blue 
stuff is dripping and splashing. . . . Here is none of the ordinary 
neat pomposity of ' business premises.' . . . We turn through 
doors into a large, low room, where the hand-made carpets are 
being worked. It is not crowded. In the middle sits a woman 
finishing off some completed rugs; in a corner is a large pile of 
worsted of a magnificent red, heaped becomingly into a deep- 
coloured straw basket. The room is full of sunlight and colour. 
The upright frames face you at right angles, with a long row of 
windows looking close upon the bright-shining river. . . . The 
strong, level afternoon light shines round the figures of the young 
girls seated in rows on low benches along the frames, and 
brightens to gold some of the fair heads. Above and behind 
them'rows of bobbins of many-coloured worsteds, stuck on pegs, 
shower down threads of beautiful colours, which are caught by 
the deft fingers, passed through strong threads (fixed uprightly 
in the frames, to serve as a foundation), tied in a knot, slipped 
down in their place, snipped even with the rest of the carpet, all in 
a second of time, by the little maidens. Twenty-five rows does 
each do in a day, — that means about two inches of carpet. One 
of the rugs being made is of silk, instead of worsted, very exqui- 
site in quality of surface. ... It is a delightful workroom. . . . 
Out again by the Wandle, and across a bridge . . . you pass 
through a garden ; the paths and grass are covered with golden 
leaves, and the fallen chestnuts roll under your feet, a faded sun- 
flower hangs its head pathetically over the stream. . . . You 
pass an open door and see men working over vats . . . where 
the dyeing is done ; . . . but we turn into another room, where 
the hand-looms are working busily, the shuttles flying to and fro 
between the webs with a speed like lightning. . . . There are 
many looms, and beautiful-coloured threads are being woven 
into beautiful materials on every side. Men work the looms ; the 
only women we saw employed at the mill were those working 
the hand-made carpets. We go on to the rooms where the 
printing and the stained glass is done. Both are reached by 
outside wooden staircases. In the glass room we see cartoons 
by Burne-Jones and by Morris himself in process of being copied. 
There are many other rooms, for stores, in the old mill. In no 
part of it does there seem any crowding, either of things or 
people ; the work seems all going on cheerfully and steadily, 

97 cc 

without hurry." The writer continues : " In the work we have 
been seeing what a strength there is of individuality, and what 
an entire absence of commonplace self-importance ; what a 
natural way of doing things, and what a sense of distinction in 
all that is done ! . . . The genius of inventiveness and the love of 
beauty are the ruling principles, not the making of money. The 
machinery used in the manufacture is accommodated, made sub- 
servient and elastic, to a standard of excellence which has no 
place at all in the ordinary manufacturer's horizon, but is quite 
outside and beyond it. If a piece of ordinary machinery can only 
in part carry out the conception, however easy and inexpensive 
the use of it would be, it is not used, but something else invented 
or adapted which shall carry out what is wanted as perfectly as 
it is possible to carry it out. If a dye is beautiful in colour, but 
does not give a fast colour, no time is spared in inventing a com- 
bination which will make it fast. The ordinary manufacturer, 
even were he to perceive the beauty of the colour, would see no 
advantage in overcoming difficulties and incurring expense in 
order to use it. He would ignore it as practically useless. He 
could not spare the time or money to try experiments." At 
Merton, on the other hand, " No time, trouble or money is spared 
in making the work as perfectly true to the conception as human 
means can make it. . . . The results are evolved out of individual 
choice, the means alone adjusting themselves as different require- 
ments present themselves to the mind of the inventor, but the 
choice is peremptory. . . . Here, at last, we can see some prac- 
tical outcome of the principles of which Mr. Ruskin is the promi- 
nent preacher. Here are examples of what the human machinery 
can do at its best, heart, head and hand all in their right places 
relatively to one another. . . . No wonder that the character of 
this work done on the Wandle has a high distinction in it." . . . 
It " is uncommon because it is so natural, so indicative of the 
pure, ungreedy side of human nature, so real as an outcome of 
individual choice. We may like it or dislike it, but very certain 
it is that the inventor himself liked it." It is what it is because of 
its independence of the " belief in any artificial standard of 
beauty " or correctness ordained by " momentous academies or 
individuals." It is the honest outcome of "genuine preference," 
and has unsophisticated nature "at the root of its creation." 

It is gratifying to be assured that, if the closing of the 
Kelmscott Press became, to adopt the cant phrase of the news- 
papers, " an artistic necessity " on Mr. Morris's death, no such 
fate threatens or need threaten the business of art decoration. 
Mr. Morris took measures some years before he died to establish 


the firm on a secure and independent footing, so that its work 
might be carried on without break or hindrance in the event of 
his decease. Moreover, he entrusted it into the hands of his two 
partners and friends, Messrs. F. and R. Smith, brothers, who 
have worked with him for close on twenty-five years past, and 
who, as they enjoyed his confidence during his lifetime, so, now 
that he is removed, are fully sensible of the responsibility of 
carrying on his work as he would have wished it to be. And not 
only have Mr. Dearie, the resident manager at Merton Abbey, 
and other artists learnt, under Morris's training, to assimilate his 
style and methods so closely as to be able to produce designs 
scarcely distinguishable from their master's ; but also a consider- 
able number of Morris's original sketches and cartoons that have 
never yet been carried out, remain in the hands of the firm for 
future use, as occasion may require. It is understood that Sir 
Edward Burne-Jones will still supply the firm with designs for 
their stained glass; a recent order of this kind, and one in fact 
which has been accepted since Mr. Morris's death, being the west 
window of St. Philip's, Birmingham. 

It is not right to omit to mention here that the firm of Messrs. 
Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co. early took up the art of 
wood-engraving, although, for the sake of convenience, the 
treatment of this subject is reserved for another chapter. 

It remains but to add a brief account of the constituent ele- 
ments of Morris's ornamental design and of the leading features 
which characterize it. And first as to his employment of the 
primal form, the human figure. Morris's capabilities in this 
regard, though not known so generally as they deserve to be, 
were decidedly of a high order, as may be gathered from the 
beautiful decorations he made for the roof of Jesus College Chapel, 
and from the not less beautiful cartoons in the possession of Mr. 
Fairfax Murray. In these figures may be discerned a refined 
type of features of a character all his own, akin to and yet quite 
distinct from the type of either Rossetti or Burne-Jones. One 
cartoon, in colours, represents an angel holding a scroll ; the 
other, in monochrome, six angels in adoration. It is twofold 
and was designed for wall-painting. One half of it was lent by 
the owner to the Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 1893. At the 
same exhibition was shown a small figure-panel of singular 
charm, drawn for embroidery and carried out in that medium by 
the designer's daughter, Mrs. Sparling. Next, as regards animal 
shapes, Morris would seem to have restricted himself principally 
to dragons, rabbits, and various kinds of birds, such as the pea- 
cock, the dove, the thrush, the woodpecker, and the partridge. 


But it was chiefliest in the adaptation of floral and vegetable 
forms that he excelled. In this sphere one of Morris's most char- 
acteristic types was that " glittering leafage " which, for want of a 
more accurate name, it is convenient to designate as the Acanthus. 
" No form of ornament," says Morris, " has gone so far or lasted 
so long as this ; it has been infinitely varied, used by almost all 
following styles " {i.e. after the Greek) " in one shape or another, 
and performed many another office besides its original one." So 
trite and stereotyped indeed had this familiar variety of foliage 
become that it might have been supposed that its last word, as it 
were, had long since been said in ornament ; its powers of further 
growth exhausted. On the contrary, however, to such magnifi- 
cent developments was it brought by Morris's creative genius, — 
its grand coils of foliage turning and counter-turning this way 
and that, its serrated edges bent over and back again, — that 
it seems to have been redeemed and made fertile anew with a 
splendid vitality, before which open out possibilities wellnigh 

Nor did the associations of his Oxford days fail to impress 
themselves upon Morris's art. Thus he made frequent use of the 
fritillary — or snake's-head, as it is popularly called — whose 
chequered, purplish head is one of the characteristic sights in the 
grass-fields by the river-side, particularly at Iffley, where it may 
be seen nodding in profusion in the late spring. Another favourite 
form of his was the long and slender spike of the wild tulip, which, 
as Morris must have been aware, although it is not proved that 
he ever saw it flowering there in his time, grew in the meadow 
bordering on the Cherwell, to the south of the Botanical Gardens 
at Oxford. Or was this rather one of those flowers which he 
borrowed from Persian ornament ? Morris indeed loved best the 
familiar forms of our English flowers, and most " the queen of 
them all — the flower of flowers," the rose. This flower is one 
which " has been grown double," says he, " from I don't know 
when. The double rose was a gain to the world, a new beauty 
was given us by it, and nothing taken away, since the wild rose 
grows in every hedge. Yet even then one might be excused for 
thinking that the wild rose was scarce improved on, for nothing 
can be more beautiful in general growth or in detail than a way- 
side bush of it, nor can any scent be as sweet and pure as its 
scent. Nevertheless the garden rose had a new beauty of abund- 
ant form, while its leaves had not lost the wonderfully delicate 
texture of the wild one. The full colour it had gained, from the 
blush rose to the damask, was pure and true amidst all its added 
force, and though its scent had certainly lost some of the sweet- 


ness of the eglantine, it was fresh still, as well as so abundantly 
rich." On the whole, however, Morris's counsel — which he 
followed himself— was : " Be very shy of double flowers ; choose 
the old columbine where the clustering doves are unmistakable 
and distinct, not the double one, where they run into mere tatters. 
Choose . . . the old china-aster with the yellow centre, that goes 
so well with the purple-brown stems and curiously coloured 
florets, instead of the lumps that look like cut paper, of which we 
are now so proud. Don't be swindled out of that wonder of 
beauty, a single snowdrop ; there is no gain and plenty of loss in 
the double one. More loss still in the double sunflower, which is 
a coarse-coloured and dull plant, whereas the single one, though 
a late comer to our gardens, is by no means to be despised, since 
it will grow anywhere, and is both interesting and beautiful, 
with its sharply chiselled yellow florets relieved by the quaintly 
patterned sad-coloured centre clogged with honey and beset with 
bees and butterflies." Though this advice of Morris's for avoiding 
" over-artificiality in flowers " is given, as a matter of fact, with a 
view to the selecting of plants for a garden, it nevertheless applies 
to the choice of flowers in ornament as well. " Many plants," 
there are, in his opinion, " which are curiosities only, which 
Nature meant to be grotesque, not beautiful, and which are 
generally the growth of hot countries, where things sprout over 
quick and rank. Take note that the strangest of these come from 
the jungle and the tropical waste, from places where man is not 
at home but is an intruder, an enemy. . . . But there are some 
flowers (inventions of men, i.e. florists) which are bad colour 
altogether, and not to be used at all. Scarlet geraniums, for 
instance, or the yellow calceolaria, which are indeed not uncom- 
monly grown together profusely, in order, I suppose, to show 
that even flowers can be thoroughly ugly." Such forms then one 
need not look to find in Morris's designs. But the flowers one 
does recognize therein, besides those already enumerated, are the 
peony and poppy, the honeysuckle, carnation and iris, larkspur 
and anemone, the daisy and the marigold. These were the main- 
springs of Morris's inspiration. And it is this he intended to 
convey when he said that ornament should have a meaning, 
should express something, viz., that it ought to give the im- 
pression of having been founded upon some object in actual exist- 
ence, instead of being, like most of the " ornament " of the Louis 
XIV., XV., and XVI. periods, a mere shapeless and senseless 
elaboration of nothing at all. At the same time Morris's decora- 
tive work is as far as possible from being didactic. He never 
used it as the vehicle for the expression of a lesson or theory ; 

101 D D 

never set himself to preach or to expound through the medium of 
ornament, as some do. His is the very type of aesthetic design. 
" He was too true an artist to follow art into its byways of moral 
significance and thereby cripple its broader arms." This was 
Hall Caine's account of Rossetti; but the words might apply with 
even greater truth to William Morris. No bogey of the pulpit or 
of the platform lurks within the folds of his velvets ; no homily is 
to be discovered in the colours of his chintzes ; no allegory latent 
in the lines of his wall-papers. Their charm is just what it 
appears to the eye to be : there is nothing else concealed beneath 
their surface. One may enjoy the beauty of them, and one may 
revel in it to one's heart's content with the confident assurance 
that the designer is not the man to take a mean advantage of 
one's being absorbed in admiration for the purpose of cozening 
one, as a reluctant child is cozened, into swallowing a stealthy 
pill enfolded in a delicious wrapping of sweet-stuff. Artless as a 
child himself, Morris was in absolute sympathy with, and shared, 
the child's view of the case. And since few things are more dis- 
tasteful to anybody than to be edified malgri lui, Morris does not 
attempt to do so surreptitiously. But when, on the other hand, 
he has a message to deliver, as for instance in his Socialistic 
writings, he states the matter plainly and straightforwardly, in 
terms, at times, outspoken even to bluntness. There is no fine 
writing then, nor any precious periods nor phrases to dazzle and 
captivate the senses. 

With Morris, then, art and literature were kept quite distinct ; 
their functions never confounded by him. He was too whole- 
hearted in his devotion to both to impair the integrity of either by 
making it subservient to the other or dependent upon that other for 
support. Indeed in his case neither had need to be supplemented 
by the other ; nor to derive any powers of fascination from with- 
out, but held to its own perfection in either sphere untrammelled. 
Quotations from prose and poetry may have to be tacked on to 
the Academy picture so as to pander to the taste of a public in- 
capable of feeling any appreciable joy in beauty for its own sake ; 
of enthusiasm for anything but what embodies a sentiment or has 
a story belonging to it. But it was otherwise with Morris's work. 
Take, for example, the verses he wove into his tapestries. The 
lettering of the words, the folds of the ribands on which they were 
inscribed, both alike being carefully considered and integral parts 
of the design, are pure ornament — no less than that and no more. 
The only Morris pattern that can be said to have even a remote 
connection with literature is the " Brother Rabbits " cretonne ; 
and that merely by way of a reminiscence of the amusement 


afforded by the foibles of " Brer Rabbit " in Joel Chandler Harris's 
" Uncle Remus." The design does not attempt of course to illus- 
trate the book. For practical convenience, to avoid confusion in 
the ordinary course of business, it was indispensable for Morris's 
numerous designs to be distinguished each by a different name. 
But as often as not the title was purely arbitrary and had little 
or no connection with the particular pattern in point. Thus a 
list of names was taken from the tributaries of the Thames, but 
these names, it is needless to say, made no pretence to be sugges- 
tive of the subject-matter of the designs by which they were 
borne respectively. 

The correlation of the arts is a subject upon which, of late 
years, a great deal has been said and written. The principle is 
one which is supposed to dominate the aesthetic school above all 
others ; but one hears little enough of its perilous tendencies, or 
of how conspicuously and how successfully Morris escaped them ; 
how again and again he insisted that it was wrong for anything 
to be expressed in the terms of one art which would have been 
expressed better in the terms of another. The process leads in- 
variably to a nondescript product, that, by whichsoever standard 
it be measured, fails to come up to the proper requirements. One 
has heard much talk of " painter-poets," " musician-painters," and 
recently even of " poet-upholsterers " — titles for which there is 
about as much warrant as for that of " Cardinal-Archbishop." 
One has heard tell also of " painted-poems," "painted allegories," 
" sculptured poems," and, even worse hybrids, of different " colour- 
symphonies," "nocturnes," "variations," " harmonies," "scherzos," 
and more nonsense and to spare of the like sort. Morris could 
not away with any of these eccentric methods of " making 
enemies" — which, being interpreted, is, of course, advertising 
oneself; nor indeed would his straightforward principles have 
allowed him to stoop to such artifices, to prostitute his art in such 
wise. In a word, his designs owe their attractiveness to no 
adventitious charm of association or issue outside themselves, 
but stand supreme, resting their claim to homage on nothing else 
but their own inherent merits, their aesthetic qualities of form 
and colour combined with their appropriateness for the purpose 
for which they are intended to be used. And so Morris called 
himself only "an ornamentalist, a maker of would-be pretty 
things " ! 

As in the realm of poetry William Morris made good his 
claim to be the representative of Chaucer and of Spenser ; so, in 
the genealogy of art, none has so indisputable a title as he to be 
the lineal descendant of the Gothic artists. There is not the 


slightest taint of the Renaissance or of Japanese influence in his 
work — in which respect, indeed, his position is remarkable and 
almost unique among the designers of modern times. Withal 
there may be traced in him a certain strain of Persian and of 
Byzantine origin. In the blending of these several elements, 
now one, now another being present in greater proportion than 
the rest, might give a certain complexion to any given design ; 
but above all else the strong individuality of William Morris 
himself always prevailed, making all his decoration of one per- 
fectly sustained and consistent style ; and such that no one 
having the most superficial acquaintance with ornamental design 
could mistake Morris's for anybody else's work. However, it 
was not vouchsafed him to be spared the usual fate which a 
master of style must suffer at the hands of those less gifted than 
himself. " His power is proved," — to quote once more from a 
writer in " The Spectator," whose views on this very point happen 
to be in direct antagonism to those of Mr. Robert Buchanan, — 
" by his many imitators. Nearly all the better kind of designs in 
the shops are, as far as they are good, cribs from Morris, just 
altered sufficiently ' to prevent unpleasantness.' His willow- 
pattern paper is taken very boldly, stamped upon a carpet, and a 
trellis of little squares added by the accommodator. Even Paris 
taste, that mixture of fantastic extravagance, persistence in 
mediocrity, and industrious finish of detail, took up the style of 
Morris colours some years ago, and flavoured it with the usual 
touch of French morbid cynicism by calling the colours ' teints 
degrades? " What an inversion of the order of things ! And how 
quickly must the memory of the beautiful old colours (the only 
colours known and used until the lurid discoveries of Perkins 
blinded men's eyes with the glare and vulgarity of coal-tar) have 
faded from the mental vision of French folk, how utterly become 
obliterated, if the same colours when presented once more to them, 
not a quarter of a century afterwards, could strike them only as 
being some novel form of corruption ! It is quite a mistake to 
imagine that Morris either had himself introduced or approved of 
the introduction of the dull and gloomy colours in the popular 
estimate associated with the art movement. In one of the 
addresses included in " Hopes and Fears for Art " Morris, though 
not denying that crudeness of colouring is a possible danger, 
warned his audience in most emphatic terms against " getting 
. . . colour dingy and muddy, a worse fault than the other 
because less likely to be curable. All right-minded craftsmen 
who work in colour," he continues, "will strive to make their 
work as bright as possible, as full of colours as the nature of the 


work will allow it to be." And again he says : " Do not fall into 
the trap of a dingy, bilious-looking yellow-green, a colour to 
which I have a special and personal hatred, because (if you will 
excuse my mentioning personal matters) I have been supposed to 
have somewhat brought it into vogue. I assure you I am not 
really responsible for it." 

" I am an artist," wrote Morris, " or workman, with a strong 
inclination to exercise what capacities I may have, and a deter- 
mination to do nothing shabby if I can help it." Now one of the 
worst forms of shabbiness, in Morris's eyes, was plagiarism, 
which he abhorred for artistic no less than for ethical reasons. 
"Everyone ought to do his own work," was the maxim by which 
he was guided himself and would have others guided, because he 
knew, only too well, the paralysing and destructive effects exer- 
cised on the faculty of invention by indolent and disingenuous 
copyism. This, then, is what he says on the duty of exerting 
one's own originality in decorative design : " Your convention 
must be your own, and not borrowed from other times and 
peoples ; or at the least you must make it your own by thoroughly 
understanding both the nature and the art you are dealing with. 
If you do not heed this, I do not know but what you may not as 
well turn to and draw laborious portraits of natural forms of flower 
and bird and beast, and stick them on your walls anyhow. It is 
true you will not get ornament so, but you may learn something 
for your trouble ; whereas, using an obviously true principle as a 
stalking-horse for laziness of purpose and lack of invention will 
but injure art all round, and blind people to the truth of that very 

In his evidence before the Royal Commission on Technical 
Education in 1882, after stating that the business he carried on 
comprised weaving, dyeing) cotton printing, carpet weaving, glass 
painting and cabinet making, Morris said : " I make mostly my 
own designs ; I do not employ designers because, amongst other 
reasons, it is so very difficult to get a due amount of originality 
out of them ; the designs which one gets are too hackneyed, and 
there is the same sort of idea harped upon for ever and ever. 
Mine is quite a peculiar trade." And, in reply to the question : 
" Your forte is originality ? " he answered in the affirmative. " It 
is necessary for our business merely as a commercial affair. I 
need not say it is desirable in everything in which one applies 
design to the industrial arts." The vast amount of the original 
design produced by Morris is almost incredible. If " great genius 
means," as Mr. Marion Crawford says it does, " great and constant 
creative power before all things ; " if " it means wealth of resource 

105 e E 

and invention ; . . . quantity as well as quality," then William 
Morris was surely a genius of greatness pre-eminent. It would 
be difficult for anyone who had not been admitted, as it were, 
behind the scenes at Messrs. Morris and Co.'s, nor been shown 
the mass of sketch-designs and cartoons prepared by William 
Morris's own hand for execution in various mediums; or for any- 
one who had not been in the habit of calling at his house and find- 
ing him, as was his wont, at work or, if resting for a few minutes, 
with the ink or the colour scarcely dried upon the paper before him ; 
it would be difficult for such an one to comprehend the prodigious 
industry of the man. It was simply astounding. Indeed he is 
not exaggerating when he says, in one of his lectures, that having 
once tried to think what would happen to him if he were for- 
bidden his ordinary daily work, he knew that he should die of 
despair and weariness, unless he could straightway take to some- 
thing else which he could make his daily work ; and that the 
reason clearly was because he loved the work itself ; nay, even 
mechanical work was pleasant to him, provided that it were not too 
mechanical. Thus he who, while insisting on the universal duty 
of work, yet would have had labour press unduly on no man, was 
unsparing of himself. The precepts Morris enjoined on others 
were in his own case no empty formulas. If any man ever prac- 
tised to the letter what he preached, it was William Morris, who 
set an example of untiring activity and application that might 
well put other people to shame. Never was a more busy, a more 
conscientious worker than he. Thoroughness was one of his 
most prominent qualities. Nothing was allowed by him to be 
done hurriedly or carelessly ; nothing left in an unfinished state 
that could be finished ; nothing passed as satisfactory until it had 
been brought as near as human hands could avail to bring it, to 
that ideal standard he had conceived of it in his own mind. 
Formerly he used even to set out with his own hands and square 
up his designs for tapestry and carpet weaving. But, careful as 
he was in the preparation of his patterns beforehand, once they 
were executed, the originals in his eyes were of no further use. In 
short, he regarded them as so many tools, as means merely to an 
end, which end attained in the concrete form of the manufactured 
article, the raison d'etre of the design had ceased for him. He used 
readily to part with, in exchange for books or anything else which 
he happened for the moment to want, original and unique draw- 
ings of his own which one would have supposed of almost price- 
less worth. 

One may be permitted to borrow once more from M. Mourey 
on the subject of Morris's share in the revival of the industrial 


arts of this country. Morris, says the French writer, " is especi- 
ally keen on the art of the Middle Ages, the complex and fertile 
depths of which he has penetrated with wonderful acuteness, 
even to restoring it in all its beauty. And it is through those 
unknown workers who have by their labours and the fruits of 
their imagination profusely adorned not only cathedral stones 
but the most trifling objects, that William Morris has been able 
to bring about this Restoration of Decorative Art of which he 
himself is the originator and master. He is indeed an earnest 
worker who has sounded the older methods and early formulas, 
and has attempted and realized all with wonderful breadth and 
originality. . . . Now this imagination, this power to create, this 
rare gift of transforming one's subject into seductive harmony of 
form, happy combination of lines, enchanting rhythms of colour, 
or developing it by unexpected deductions, enriching it with one's 
fancy until it blossoms forth in beauty, melancholy, or merely 
fresh and simple tones — what other worker in decorative art 
possesses to such a degree as he ? But apart from his innate gift, 
the tools employed are well known : earnest, attentive and 
sincere study of nature ; thorough and well-grounded knowledge 
of past epochs instead of that servile imitation with which we 
content ourselves ; and above all — what so often proves a true 
stumbling-block in decorative art — scrupulous heed that the 
caprices of invention, colour and form shall be in perfect accord 
with the requirements of the material." 

" And his influence ? To give a fair answer to this question 
one must have lived an English life. It has indeed been deep, 
restorative, transforming the outward and decorative side of life, 
adorning the home with the pleasures of art — and we all know 
how full of significance that word home is. We meet with the 
fertile results of his mind on all sides. ... It is a real style he 
has created, a style which owes its origin to that perfect, clear 
and expressive style of the Middle Ages, which alone is capable 
of providing the nineteenth century with material and ideas 
suitable to it, which passes by Japanese and Persian art to 
develop in the original, fruitful imagination and temperament of 
the northern." ' 

A writer in " The Edinburgh Review " says : " Even in the 
ordinary work exposed for sale in furniture shops the effect of the 
change is manifest; tradesmen . . . have been compelled to do 
their best to follow the change in public demand. And this im- 
provement in household taste is the direct work of Morris more 
than of anyone else. He set the example of designing furniture 
in accordance with the requirements and expression of structure 


(in which respect furniture properly follows much the same 
principles as architecture) ; of considering harmony of colour in 
the carpets, papering, and other decorations of a room ; of treat- 
ing designs based on natural foliage on true decorative principles, 
conventionalizing the forms employed, and teaching the public 
the importance of beauty of line and of preserving the balance 
and spacing of decorative detail. . . . Morris's perceptions in this 
class of work were not based on any mere dilettante preferences. 
They were the result of a close and unremitting study of the 
subject. It is said by those who knew him well that no man had 
such a thorough and exhaustive knowledge of the technical pro- 
cesses of old work, so far as we now have the means of knowing 
them. Design in all the decorative arts is, or should be, based 
upon or largely influenced by technique ; it was the perception of 
this, and the knowledge of the technical requirements and possi- 
bilities in connection with each class of material, which led him 
to the right path in the treatment of design." 

Mr. Herbert Home, in " The Saturday Review," rightly said 
of Morris that " in his genius for fine craftsmanship he was alone ; 
a unique figure of our time." He then points out the beneficial 
influence of a cultured age like the fifteenth century, and how 
such an influence " is nowhere shown to more evident advantage 
than in the production of those goods and fabrics which are 
intended for the uses of daily life, but into which the element of 
beauty enters in some degree or another ; the craft of cabinet 
making, for example," or " the weaving of figured textiles ; " and 
he contrasts that desirable state of things with the present. 
'■' In an age like our own, when the sphere of the practical 
utilities of life is wholly divorced from the sphere of art, this 
element of beauty is apt to be mistaken, or lost sight of, by those 
who practise these crafts, and an indifference to produce beauti- 
fully is soon followed by an indifference to produce well. It is 
here precisely that the conditions of good craftsmanship assert 
themselves ; reminding us that the craftsman is neither wholly 
concerned with mere utility on the one hand, nor with mere 
beauty on the other ; but that his productions must be fitted to 
the uses for which they are intended ; that they must be well 
made ; and that they must be made with a due sense of beauty. 
For us, the tradition of such craftsmanship has long been broken ; 
and, to recover it, the craftsman is forced to revert to methods 
which have been lost or forgotten, to the productions of some 
other age than our own. In this attempt Morris went beyond 
anyone of his time. The success, for example, with which he 
revived the older and simpler methods of the dyer's art, and the 


use of vegetable dyes, has contributed not a little to the beauty 
of his tapestries, his silks, and his other textile and printed 
fabrics. His painted glass, his decorative paintings and furniture 
... all show the fine instinct with which he returned to sound 
principles of good craftsmanship, employing only the simplest 
and best of materials." " He has done much," says another 
writer, " to rehabilitate the pride in workmanship that was at 
one time a characteristic of English workmen, but which of late 
years, under the influence of commercialism," and other causes, 
" we are said to have lost." 

Enough has now been said to show that William Morris 
was no mere dabbler but a specialist in the arts ; how that he 
grappled with the technical difficulties — aye, and the commercial 
difficulties, too — of one handicraft after another ; how that, once 
having taken up any particular branch of industry, he never let it 
go until he had made himself an expert in all the intricacies of 
it; and how, while handling it as any practical man of business 
might do, over and above all that, he dignified it through the 
riches of his own transcendent imagination, bringing it into 
accord with his own refined sense of beauty. It is thus impos- 
sible to over-estimate the influence of William Morris in the 
improvement of household taste. When he " began his crusade 
against ugliness and bad work, the art of house decoration," says 
a writer in "The Standard," "was at the lowest ebb," and "there 
was little produced which was not positively repulsive both in 
execution and design." But, thanks to Morris, the remedy for 
so deplorable a state of things is with us. In the establishment 
of the decorative firm which bears his name he provided the 
public with both an illustration of his teaching and also a practical 
means of putting it into effect in their own surroundings. How 
great a multitude of houses he has thus directly or indirectly 
beautified none can tell — it is indeed incalculable. In short, 
as Mr. Harry Quilter says, the decorative reform achieved by 
William Morris is such that " has changed the look of half the 
houses in London, and substituted art for ugliness all over the 

109 ff 


'INCE he left the Red House at Upton, 
William Morris was for five years with- 
out a home in the country. His friend 
Rossetti, being desirous " of establishing 
some country quarters for work, where," 
so he wrote, " I can leave my belong- 
ings, and return to them as opportunity 
offers ; " and such an arrangement as 
that proposed being agreeable to Morris 
as well, they began to look out for a 
suitable place to take together. They 
had been searching already some little time, " when this one," 
writes Rossetti from Kelmscott Manor, " was discovered in a 
house-agent's catalogue — the last place one would have expected 
to furnish such an out- of-the- world commodity." Out-of-the-world 
indeed ! for in those days there was no railway station nearer 
than at Faringdon, a drive of seven miles. However, in 1873, a 
station on the Oxford and Fairford line was opened at Lechlade, 
a distance of between three and four miles from Kelmscott. 
Before the end of May, 1871, Morris had decided with Rossetti to 
rent Kelmscott Manor, and in less than two months' time their 
joint occupation was begun. Morris held the house from that 
time to the day of his death, a space of five-and-twenty years. 
He used to stay there longest in the autumn months, but at other 
times whenever he was overworn with too much work, or other- 
wise in need of change, he only had to go down there and find 
the rest and refreshment that he needed. How devoted he was 
to the place he signalized in more ways than one. Undoubtedly 
he had it in his mind when he said to his audience in one of his 
lectures : " There may be some here who have the good luck to 
dwell in those noble buildings which our forefathers built, out of 
their very souls, one may say ; such good luck I call about the 
greatest that can befall a man in these days." 

In " News From Nowhere " Morris describes a journey up 
the river to Kelmscott — not his " first visit by many a time. I 
know these reaches well ; indeed, I may say that I know every 
yard of the Thames from Hammersmith to Cricklade." The 
teller of the tale, fancying himself in the neighbourhood of 
Hampton Court, says, " And as we slipped between the lovely 
summer greenery, I almost felt my youth come back to me, and 
as if I were on one of those water excursions which I used to 
enjoy so much in days when I was too happy to think that there 


could be 
much amiss 
The visit in 
the romance 
is represent- 
ed as taking 
place at just 
the year's 
season at 
which Morris 
first took up 
his abode at 
and it may 
well be that 
he is record- 
ing here his 
exact im- 
pressions at 
the time. He 
dwells with 
tender sym- 
pathy on the 
of the various 

river-side scenes he loved, from the " beginning of the country 
Thames " with its " bough-hung banks," until his arrival at the 
very threshold of his home — "the mowing-field; whence came 
waves of fragrance from the flowering clover amidst of the ripe 
grass. In a few minutes we had passed through a deep eddy- 
ing pool into the sharp stream that ran from the ford, and beached 
our craft on a tiny strand of limestone gravel, and stepped 
ashore . . . our journey done. . . . The river came down through 
a wide meadow on my left, which was grey now with the 
ripened seeding grasses ; the gleaming water was lost presently 
by a turn of the bank, but over the meadow I could see the 
mingled gables of a building where I knew the locks must be. 
... I turned a little to my right, and through the hawthorn 
sprays and long shoots of the wild roses could see the flat 
country spreading out far away under the sun of the calm 
evening. . . . Before me the elm boughs still hid most of what 
houses there might be in this river-side dwelling of men ; but to 
the right of the cart-road a few grey buildings of the simplest kind 






showed here and there." It may be remarked at this point, by 
way of explanation, that the soil in the neighbourhood being 
light, the trees that flourish thereabouts are chiefly elm-trees. 
" Almost without my will my feet moved on along the road they 
knew. The raised way led us into a little field bounded by a 
backwater of the river on one side ; on the right hand we could 
see a cluster of small houses and barns, new and old, and before 
us a grey stone barn and a wall partly overgrown with ivy, over 
which a few grey gables showed. The village road ended in the 
shallow of the aforesaid backwater. We crossed the road, and 
again, almost without my will, my hand raised the latch of a 
door in the wall, and we stood presently on a stone path which 
led up to the old house. . . . The garden between the wall and 
the house was redolent of the June flowers, and the roses were 
rolling over one another with that delicious superabundance of 
small well-tended gardens which at first sight takes away all 
thought from the beholder save that of beauty. The blackbirds 
were singing their loudest, the doves were cooing on the roof- 
ridge, the rooks in the high elm-trees beyond were garrulous 
among the young leaves, and the swifts wheeled whirring about the 
gables. And the house itself was a fit guardian for all the beauty 
of this heart of summer. . . . ' This many-gabled old house, built 
by the simple country-folk of the long-past times, regardless of 



all the turmoil that was going on in cities and courts, is lovely 
still.' " His companion in the story then led him " close up to the 
house, and laid her shapely, sun-browned hand and arm on the 
lichened wall as if to embrace it, and cried out, ' O me ! O me ! 
How I love the earth, and the seasons, and weather, and all 
things that deal with it, and all that grows out of it — as this has 
done ! ' . . . We stood there a while by the corner of the big gable 
of the house. . . . We drew back a little, and looked up at the 
house : the door and the windows were open to the fragrant sun- 
cured air. . . . We ■went in. . . . We wandered from room to 
room, — from the rose-covered porch to the strange and quaint 
garrets amongst the great timbers of the roof, where of old time 
the tillers and herdsmen of the manor slept. Everywhere there 
was but little furniture, and that only the most necessary, and of 
the simplest forms. The extravagant love of ornament which I 
had noted . . . elsewhere seemed here to have given place to the 
feeling that the house itself and its associations was the orna- 
ment of the country life amidst which it had been left stranded 
from old times, and that to re-ornament it would but take away 
its use as a piece of natural beauty. 

113 G G 



"We sat 
down at last 
a room 
. . . which 
was still 
hung with 
old tapestry, 
originally of 
no artistic 
value, but 
now faded 
into pleas- 
ant grey 
tones which 
well with 
the quiet of 

the place, and which would have been ill-supplanted by brighter 
and more striking decoration. I . . . became . . . scarce conscious 
of anything, but that I was there in that old room, the doves 
crooning from the roofs of the barn and dovecot beyond the 
window opposite to me." He then noted the contrast between 
his living companion and " the grey faded tapestry with its futile 
design, which was now only bearable because it had grown so 
faint and feeble." Presently he goes " downstairs and out of the 
house into the garden by a little side door which opened out 
of a curious lobby." He is still in the " lovely garden," "when 
a little gate in the fence, which led into a small elm-shaded field, 
was opened " and a friend " came up the garden path, who ex- 
claimed, ' I thought you . . . would like to see the old house. . . . 
Isn't it a jewel of a house after its kind ? ' " Such is the picture he 
drew of Kelmscott, and one not so much idealized but that to re- 
cognize the original of it is easy enough. 

Again in an article, dated at " Kelmscott, October 25," and 
published in "The Quest" (Birmingham), of November, 1895, 
William Morris, under the title " Gossip about an old House on 
the Upper Thames," furnishes another account of his country 
home. " The village of Kelmscott," he begins, " lies close to " the 
river, " some five miles (by water) from the present end of the 
navigation at Inglesham." After a short survey of the neighbour- 
hood, he then proceeds to describe the " mass of grey walls and 
pearly-grey roofs which makes the House, called by courtesy 
the Manor House, though it seems to have no manorial rights 


attached to it. . . . It lies at the very end of the village on a 
road which, brought up shortly by a backwater of the Thames, 
becomes a mere cart track leading into the meadows along the 
river. . . . Entering the door in . . . the high impointed stone 
wall, . . . you go up a nagged path through the front garden to the 
porch which is a modern but harmless addition in wood. The 
house from this side is a lowish three-storied one with mullioned 
windows (in the third these are in the gables), and at right 
angles to this another block whose bigger lower windows and 
pedimented gable lights indicate a later date. The house is 
built of well-laid rubble-stone of the district, the wall " in part 
plastered over with thin plaster. " The roofs are covered with 
the beautiful stone slates of the district, the most lovely covering 
which a roof can have, especially when, as here and in all the 
traditional old houses of the country-side, they are ' sized down ' ; 
the smaller ones to the top and the bigger towards the eaves, 
which gives one the same sort of pleasure in their orderly beauty 
as a fish's scales or a bird's feathers. Turning round the house 
by the bigger block, one sees where the gable of the older and 
simpler part of the house once came out, and notes with pleasure 
the simple expression of the difference of levels in the first floor 
and the third floor, as by the diversity of windows and roofs : the 
back of the house shows nothing but the work of the earlier 
builders, and is in plan of the shape of an E with the tongue cut 
out. . . . Standing a little aloof from the north-east angle of the 
building, one can get the best idea of a fact which it is essential 
to note, and which is found in all these old houses hereabouts, to 
wit, all the walls ' batter,' i.e. lean a little back. . . . We must 
suppose that it is an example of traditional design from which 
the builders could not escape. To my mind it is a beauty, taking 
from the building a rigidity which would otherwise mar it ; 
giving it (I can think of no other word) a flexibility which is 
never found in our modern imitations of the houses of this age." 
After a few -words on the adjoining farm buildings, the dovecot, 
and garden, Morris continues : " Going under an arched opening 
in the yew hedge which makes a little garth about a low door in 
the middle of the north wall, one comes into a curious passage or 
lobby " which " leads into what was once the great parlour. ... I 
have many a memory of hot summer mornings passed in its cool- 
ness amidst the green reflections of the garden. Turning back and 
following a little passage leading from the lobby aforesaid to the 
earlier part of the house " one comes, at the end of the passage, upon 
" a delightful little room quite low ceilinged, in the place where the 
house is ' thin in the wind,' so that there is a window east and a 




window west. . . . This room is really the heart of the Kelmscott 
house, having been the parlour of the old house. . . . Outside this 
little parlour is the entrance passage from the flagged path afore- 
said, made by two stout studded partitions, the carpentry of which is 
very agreeable to anyone who does not want cabinet work to sup- 
plant carpentry." He then describes the upstairs part, of which 
the feature is the tapestry room " over the big panelled parlour. 
The walls of it are hung with tapestry of about 1600, representing 
the story of Samson : they were never great works of art, and 
now, when all the bright colours are faded out, and nothing is 
left but the indigo blues, the greys and the warm yellowy browns, 
they look better, I think, than they were meant to look . . . and, 
in spite of the designer, they give an air of romance to the room 
which nothing else would quite do. Another charm this room 
has, that through its south window you not only catch a glimpse 
of the Thames clover meadows, and the pretty little elm-crowned 
hill over in Berkshire, . . . you can see not only the barn . . . with 
its beautiful sharp gable, the grey stone sheds and the dovecot, 
but also the flank of the earlier house and its little gables and 
grey-scaled roofs, and this is a beautiful outlook indeed." Morris 


does not even 
omit to speak of 
" the attics, i.e. the 
open roof under 
the slates, a very 
sturdy beam roof 
of elm often un- 
squared ; it is most 
curiously divided 
under most of the 
smaller gables into 
little chambers 
where, no doubt, 
people, perhaps 
the hired field 
labourers, slept in 
old time: the big- 
ger space is open, 
and is a fine place 
for children to play 
in, and has charm- 
ing views east, 
west and north : 
but much of it is 
too curious for de- 
scription. . . . The 
older part of the 
house looks about 1573, and the later (in this country-side) looks 1630 
to 1640. . . . Here then," the writer concludes, " are a few words 
about a house that I love ; with a reasonable love I think : for 
though my words may give you no idea of any special charm about 
it, yet I assure you that the charm is there ; so much has the old 
house grown up out of the soil and the lives of those that lived in 
it; needing no grand office-architect, . . . but some thin thread of 
tradition, a half-anxious sense of the delight of meadow and acre 
and wood and river ; a certain amount (not too much let us hope) of 
common-sense, a liking for making materials serve one's turn, and 
perhaps, at bottom, some little grain of sentiment — this I think was 
what went to the making of the old house. Might we not manage 
to find some sympathy for all that from henceforward ! " 

It was on a " memorable day," shortly after Morris and 
Rossetti had entered upon their joint occupancy of Kelmscott 
Manor, that Mr. Theodore Watts, being there at the time on a 
visit to Rossetti, first met Morris " and was blessed," so he writes 

117 H H 




in " The Athenaeum," " with a friendship that lasted without 
interruption for nearly a quarter of a century." In the same 
paper Mr. Watts-Dunton mentions another occasion on which 
himself was staying, together with the late Dr. Middleton, as 
guests of Morris's at Kelmscott. " The beautiful old house and 
the quaint, romantic chamber that served for studio, became," 
says Mrs. Esther Wood, " the resort of poets and artists, critics 
and connoisseurs, disciples and aspirants, in companies small 
indeed, but brilliant and memorable as any that gathered round 
the young Pre-Raphaelites in Newman Street, or the maturer 
masters of art and song that assembled in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea. 
Mr. William Morris and his family were there frequently." 

In a letter addressed to his mother from Kelmscott, a few 
days after his arrival there in 1871, Rossetti writes : " This house 
and its surroundings are the loveliest ' haunt of ancient peace ' 
that can well be imagined — the house purely Elizabethan in 
character, though it may probably not be so old as that. ... It 
has a quantity of farm buildings of the thatched squatted order, 
which look settled down into a purring state of comfort. . . . My 
studio here is a delightful room, all hung round with old tapestry. 
... It gives in grim sequence the history of Samson. ... I hope 





you will see this lovely old place some time when it is got quite 
into order, and I am sure it will fill you with admiration. The 
garden is a perfect paradise, and the whole is built on the very 
banks of the Thames, along which there are beautiful walks for 
miles." Rossetti found the quiet of this peaceful spot particularly 
restful and soothing to him. He used constantly to be going 
there for periods of longer or shorter duration at intervals during 
three years. Indeed he resided there almost entirely between 
1872 and 1874. He wrote much poetry and painted a certain 
number of pictures there. Ford Madox Brown painted a great 
part of his picture " Cromwell on his Farm " in the open air at 
Kelmscott in 1872. In the winter of that year, Rossetti moved 
his studio to the large drawing-room on the ground floor, on 
account of the cold in the tapestry room. For he had returned with 
Mr. George Hake to Kelmscott Manor from Scotland, whither he 
had gone for some time in the autumn of 1872 for the benefit of his 
health. Dr. Thomas Gordon Hake visited Rossetti at Kelmscott 
and described the scenery of the place in his poem " Reminiscence." 
Rossetti left Kelmscott altogether in July, 1874; after whose 
withdrawal, for a period of about ten years, Mr. F. S. Ellis had a 
share in the place with Morris and had the right, as part occupier, 
to go there when it was convenient to himself to do so. 


It was about the time of the dissolution of the original 
partnership of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner and Co., in 1874, that 
William Morris changed his town residence from Queen Square, 
Bloomsbury, to Horrington House, Chiswick, which he held 
until he moved, only a few years later, to No. 26 on the Upper 
Mall, Hammersmith. This house, which faces the river, he 
named, after his country home on the Upper Thames, Kelmscott 
House. It is said to have been occupied formerly by Dr. George 
Macdonald, and, earlier still, by Francis Ronalds, the electrician, 
who came to live there in 1816. By him were conducted some of 
the very first experiments in telegraphy, in the garden at the 
back of the house and in the sheds adjoining — the same buildings 
which Morris made use of for his carpet weaving, and turned 
subsequently into Socialist club and lecture-rooms. 



AD Mr. Morris been asked which one in 
preference to any other of his under- 
takings he considered his greatest and 
best, he would have had no hesitation 
in naming the Society for the Protection 
of Ancient Buildings, which owes to 
him more than anyone else both its 
origin and its success. Should all else 
he ever did be reprobated or forgotten, 
he could yet confidently rest his claim 
to be held in grateful remembrance of posterity for this signal 
service alone. It is hardly possible to lay too much stress on 
this department of Mr. Morris's work, or to overrate the import- 
ance he himself attached to it. Indeed it is not too much to say, 
that to be able to appreciate the motives that guided him in the 
course he maintained in this regard is to possess the key to 
William Morris's method and conduct in general throughout his 
life. No cause was nearer to his heart than this. This it is 
which everyone who would desire to interpret aright his life's work 
must place first in any memorial of him. There is not a doubt 
that Morris's attention was awakened to the urgency of the 
subject; by his study of John Ruskin. Indeed, so entirely do the 
opinions of the two writers agree on these points, that in many a 
passage Ruskin expresses himself in terms that, removed from 
the context, might well be mistaken by anyone not previously 
acquainted with it for an utterance of Morris's, and vice versa. 

It was in the year 1877 that the Society for the Protection of 
Ancient Buildings, familiarly known as the " Anti-Scrape," was 
founded, Mr. Morris being the leading spirit of the movement, and 
himself drawing up a formal statement of its principles. The " new 
interest, almost like another sense," he said, and the enthusiasm 
that had arisen for the study of ancient monuments of art, con- 
stituted in itself their most serious detriment. The " last fifty 
years of knowledge and attention have done more for their 
destruction than all the foregoing centuries of revolution, violence 
and contempt. For Architecture, long decaying, died out, as a 
popular art at least, just as the knowledge of mediaeval art was 
born. So that the civilised world of the nineteenth century has 
no style of its own amidst its wide knowledge of the styles of 
other centuries. From this lack and this gain arose in men's 
minds the strange idea of the Restoration of ancient buildings ; 
and a strange and most fatal idea, which by its very name 

121 1 1 

implies that it is possible to strip from a building, this, that, and 
the other part of its history— of its life that is, and then to stay 
the hand at some arbitrary point, and leave it still historical, 
living, and even as it once was." 

" In earlier times this kind of forgery was impossible, because 
knowledge failed the builders, or perhaps because instinct held 
them back." Any change that took place in the way of repairs 
or otherwise " was of necessity wrought in the unmistakable 
fashion of the time . . . and was alive with the spirit of the 
deeds done amidst its fashioning. The result of all this was 
often a building in which the many changes, though harsh and 
visible enough, were by their very contrast interesting and in- 
structive, and could by no possibility mislead. But those who 
make the changes wrought in our day under the name of Restora- 
tion, while professing to bring back a building to the best time of 
its history, have no guide but each his own individual whim ; . . . 
the very nature of their task compels them to destroy something, 
and to supply the gap by imagining what the earlier builders 
should or might have done. . . . The whole surface of the build- 
ing is necessarily tampered with " in the process ; " the appear- 
ance of antiquity is taken away from such old parts of the fabric 
as are left, . . . and, in short, a feeble and lifeless forgery is the 
final result of all the wasted labour. It is sad to say that in this 
manner most of the bigger Minsters, and a vast number of more 
humble buildings, both in England and on the Continent, have 
been dealt with. . . . For what is left we plead " and, since it is 
impossible to restore the living spirit which was an inseparable 
part of the religion, thought and manners that produced the 
buildings of the past, we " call upon those who have to deal with 
them, to put Protection in the place of Restoration, to stave off 
decay by daily care, to prop a perilous wall or mend a leaky roof 
by such means as are obviously meant for support or covering, 
and show no pretence of other art, and otherwise to resist all 
tampering with either the fabric or ornament of the building as it 
stands ; if it has become inconvenient for its present use, to raise 
another building rather than alter or enlarge the old one ; in fine, 
to treat our ancient buildings as monuments of a byegone art, 
created by byegone manners that modern art cannot meddle with 
without destroying. Thus, and thus only, shall we escape the 
reproach of our learning being turned into a snare to us ; thus, 
and thus only, can we protect our ancient buildings, and hand 
them down instructive and venerable to those that come after us." 
Again, Morris concluded a lecture he gave on behalf of the Society 
for the Protection of Ancient Buildings with the words : " Come 


now, I invite you to support the most prudent Society in all 

Mr. Morris filled at the beginning the post of Honorary 
Secretary singlehanded ; afterwards several other members were 
associated with him in that office, and he served on the com- 
mittee thenceforward to the end of his life. He was, from first to 
last, one of the most active members of the Society. He never 
spared himself, being always ready with voice and pen to forward 
the objects of the Society. And, valuable as his time was, he 
devoted much of it to this cause ; he used constantly to be going 
about the country on behalf of the Society to inspect and 
report upon the condition of ancient buildings, when the fact that 
they were in danger of demolition, or of what was hardly less 
disastrous, material injury in the name of restoration, had come 
to the knowledge of the committee. 

The Society had not been in existence two years before it 
was found that its business was too onerous for one General 
Committee that had been formed, and it became necessary to 
nominate sub-committees to carry on its work. A special 
Restoration Committee was appointed, which had before it and 
sifted the cases submitted to the Society throughout a great 
portion of the preceding year. A Foreign Committee was also 
formed to take notice of the state of ancient buildings abroad, and 
placed itself in communication with various archaeological 
societies in different countries of Europe ; as well as instituting 
particular inquiries from time to time with reference to ancient 
monuments in India, Egypt, &c. The prospectus of the Society 
was translated into French, German, Italian and Dutch, and 
steps were taken to circulate it and to obtain corresponding 
members in each of those countries.. In order to facilitate and 
systematize the operations of the Society at home, local honorary 
correspondents in various districts were appointed, who might 
help to obtain quick and accurate information of proposed damage 
to ancient buildings. Certain members of the Society meet from 
week to week to carry on its affairs and make themselves respon- 
sible for the labour of the correspondence its operations entail. 

The Society holds annually a general meeting at which the 
report of the past year is read, as well as a paper on some special 
subject of interest bearing on the work of the Society. Mr. 
Morris delivered an interesting speech at the general meeting on 
June 28th, 1879. But by far the most important event of this year 
for the Society — and possibly, indeed, the most important in their 
annals — was the controversy with regard to the " restoration " of 
St. Mark's at Venice. 


As far back as March, 1872, a paragraph in " The Academy " 
drew attention to the virtual destruction that had already befallen 
Torcello and warned those of the public who had taste enough 
to care about such things that a similar fate was threatening 
St. Mark's itself. But at that time there was, unfortunately, in 
this country no organization through which the voice of remon- 
strance might hope to make itself heard, or claim respect and 
compliance from the authorities abroad. Meanwhile the destruc- 
tive " restoration " proceeded, until, both the north side and the 
south of the venerable Byzantine basilica having been renovated, 
it became only too evident that there was no time to lose if any 
of the parts remaining of the fabric were to be saved. It was 
actually a question, not only of replacing the old mosaics of the 
west front with modern monstrosities by Salviati— though that, 
in sooth, were bad enough — but of taking down and rebuilding 
the entire facade, the supremest glory of the architecture of 
St. Mark's, if indeed one may befittingly distinguish this from 
that where everything is supreme, everything glorious. At a 
meeting of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 
held at Buckingham Street, Strand, in the first week of November, 
1879, Mr. Morris, the honorary secretary, called attention to the 
urgent necessity for decisive measures to check the proposed 
total demolition of the west front of St. Mark's. It was resolved 
to prepare a memorial and invite the signatures of all who 
sympathized with the views of the Society, for presentation to the 
Minister of Public Works in Italy, in view of the fact that that 
official had called, or had declared his intention of calling, a 
commission to decide whether the work should be begun at once 
or after the lapse of a year. Hence the need for prompt action, 
if the most beautiful feature of the basilica was to be saved. At 
the same time a meeting for the same objects was held at the 
Fitzwilliam Museum, at Cambridge, with Dr. Paget in the chair. 
Another meeting took place on November 13th, at the Midland 
Institute, at Birmingham, at which Morris was present and spoke. 

On November 15th, 1879, a large meeting was held at the 
Sheldonian Theatre, in Oxford, the Dean of Christ Church in the 
chair, to discuss the expediency of appealing to the Italian 
Minister of Works on the subject of St. Mark's. Mr. G. E. Street, 
the architect, moved, and Burne-Jones seconded the first resolu- 
tion, ■which was carried by acclamation. Other speakers in 
sympathy with the objects of the meeting were Professors Rich- 
mond and Holland, Dr. Acland, and Mr. W. Morris. The latter, 
in his speech, mentioned that the south side of the church was 
already spoilt, and concluded by reminding his audience that 


" The buildings of a nation were essentially not only the property 
of that nation but also of the world. So above all were the golden 
walls that east and west had joined to build, — walls that were 
the symbol of a literature." There followed certain corre- 
spondence and notices on the subject in "The Times;" Morris, 
on behalf of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, 
addressing to that paper two letters, dated November 22nd and 
28th respectively. He appealed most earnestly to the Italian 
people to do their utmost " to induce the authorities to forbid for 
the future all meddling with the matchless mosaics and inlaid 
works which are the crown of the glories of St. Mark's ; " and 
observed that if only we could hear that the restoration of the 
pavement had been stopped, it would do more than anything else 
to allay our fears, " and would make many of us who at present 
dread that we shall never dare to see Venice again, look forward 
with redoubled pleasure to our next visit to the most romantic of 
cities." In the course of the correspondence other letters, all 
with the same intention, were addressed to "The Times" by 
Messrs. Street, Henry Wallis, Stillman, and Edward Poynter, R.A. 
Meanwhile the agitation in this country was not without its 
effects in Italy, where the news of the movement, together with 
the strong public opinion in England against the "restoration" 
of St. Mark's, caused considerable shame and annoyance to the 
authorities. In answer to the inquiries of the English corre- 
spondent there, the truth came out. In self-defence the Italians 
pleaded that it was the Austrians, during their occupation, who 
were the first to tamper with the basilica. Had the Venetians 
been wise they would have mistrusted the ways of the Austrian 
Danaai, for all their seeming lavish zeal in defraying the cost of 
rebuilding; but alas, the Laocoon had not yet arisen; other 
counsels prevailed, and the Venetians took up the work where the 
usurpers had left it off, and proceeded to carry out the " restora- 
tion " of the south side of the church. It was at the point when 
this job was completed that the perpetrators themselves became 
alarmed, and the news of their debatings and of the dissensions 
that ensued reached England. "It was not known," said "The 
Times " leader of November 28th, "that the artistic conscience of 
Italy had already been roused, and that the mischief which was 
in full course had been stopped. The two previous completed 
acts of destruction were known only too well, and the conclusion 
was that the third, which had been taken in hand, would be com- 
pleted too, after the same model and under the same guidance as 
the former ones." The repudiation on the part of the authorities 
of any intention of carrying out this fatal plan may have been 

125 KK 

genuine, but on the face of it there was only too much reason to 
fear the contrary. It seems probable enough that the work of 
destruction would have been carried through had not William 
Morris given utterance to the voice of indignant protest that this 
country sent forth almost unanimously. Seven years later the 
subject arose again in the newspapers, and the Society for the 
Protection of Ancient Buildings again came to the fore in defence 
of the integrity of the beautiful basilica. This at least may be 
asserted, that if St. Mark's was saved it had the narrowest escape ; 
and everyone who visits the church and admires its peerless 
facade should remember that to William Morris is owing an 
immeasurable debt of gratitude for his timely intervention on 
behalf of the building, and for the prominent part he took in 
organizing the agitation against the threatened effacement of one 
of the most exquisite monuments in the world. 

With the object of helping to provide the necessary funds to 
meet the increasing expenditure of the Society, as its work year 
by year was " carried on with greater vigour, and extended over 
a wider field," certain lectures were organized and given by 
Professor Richmond, Messrs. Reginald Stuart Poole, E.J. Poynter, 
R.A., J. T. Micklethwaite, and William Morris. These lectures, 
of which two had been delivered by Morris, were issued together 
in one volume in 1882. 

Morris presided, and gave an address, at the annual meeting 
of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings on June 4th, 
1885. On this occasion he informed the Society that he had him- 
self attended twice to give evidence before the Commission of the 
Select Committee that sat on the subject of Mr. Pearson's plan 
for altering and rebuilding parts of the exterior of Westminster 
Hall, but he feared that the Hall was doomed in spite of all that 
had been done to preserve it intact. Mr. Morris also took an 
active part at this time in opposing the mischievous scheme for 
demolishing, or suffering to fall into decay, certain of the ancient 
churches of York. He visited the city at the end of May, 1885, 
and addressed an enthusiastic meeting which was held there to 
protest against the proposed monstrosity, as he described it. " It 
was not our business to interfere," he said, " with ecclesiastical 
arrangements. All we wanted was that in carrying out the scheme 
the churches should not be destroyed. . . . Altogether it was a 
very successful meeting." 

Morris contributed an article to " The Nineteenth Century " 
of March, 1889, on "Westminster Abbey and its Monuments," the 
occasion being Mr. Shaw Lefevre's plan for providing for further 
interments and the erection of fresh memorials in the Abbey 


Church. Morris wrote another paper on the same subject, pub- 
lished officially by the Society in 1894, entitled " Concerning West- 
minster Abbey." Another paper he wrote for the Society at an 
earlier date was "On the External Coverings of Roofs." Morris 
gave an address at the Society's annual meeting on July 3rd, 1889. 
In the autumn of 1890, at Trinity College, Cambridge, thanks to 
the energy of Dr. Cunningham, who both proposed it and carried 
it to a successful conclusion, a meeting was held in support of the 
aims of the Society, the Master of Peterhouse in the chair. There 
was a numerous attendance, and the audience listened with 
sympathetic attention to the arguments which were put forward 
by Mr. Morris and the other speakers, including Mr. Cobden- 
Sanderson and Mr. Micklethwaite, on behalf of the religious as 
well as artistic value of the genuineness of ancient buildings, as 
opposed to the sham presentment of the modern restorer. 

In his lecture on "The Prospects of Architecture in Civiliza- 
tion," Morris incidentally showed his sympathy for some other 
societies whose objects are to a great extent in harmony with 
the last-named. " Though I ask your earnest support for such 
associations as the Kyrle and the Commons Preservation Societies, 
and though I feel sure that they have begun at the right end ; . . . 
though we are bound to wait for nobody's help than our own in 
dealing with the devouring hideousness and squalor of our great 
towns, and especially of London, for which the whole country is 
responsible ; yet it would be idle not to acknowledge that the 
difficulties in our way are far too huge and wide-spreading to be 
grappled by private or semi-private efforts only. All we can do 
in this way we must look on not as palliatives of an unendurable 
state of things, but as tokens of what we desire ; which is, in short, 
the giving back to our country of the natural beauty of the earth, 
which we are so ashamed of having taken away from it : and our 
chief duty herein will be to quicken this shame and the pain that 
comes from it in the hearts of our fellows : this, I say, is one of 
the chief duties of all those who have any right to the title of 
cultivated men." 

On March nth, 1884, in the board-room of the Charing Cross 
Hotel, was founded the Art Workers' Guild. This Society had 
grown out of the St. George's Art Society, founded in 1883, and 
composed in the main of pupils of Mr. Norman Shaw. The 
members were thus necessarily architects ; but the idea of trying 
to bring together the sundered branches of Art being mooted, in 
the autumn of the Society's first year, led to certain meetings and 
discussions with other artists. The result was the formation of a 
society " to consist of Handicraftsmen and Designers in the Arts " 


under the title of the Art Workers' Guild. This body absorbed 
into itself practically the St. George's Art Society and another 
society named " The Fifteen," a band of artists who used to meet 
monthly at one another's houses for the reading and discussing 
of papers on decorative art, their first gathering having taken 
place under the roof of Mr. Lewis F. Day. The Art Workers' 
Guild grew and increased rapidly ; among its objects being the 
practical exposition of different art methods ; social gatherings 
for conversation and discussion, with a paper occasionally read 
by a member, or some eminent authority, on any art topic ; and 
the holding of small exhibitions of old and modern objects of 
beautiful workmanship, as well as of pictures and drawings. 
The Guild, whose present place of meeting is the hall of Clifford's 
Inn, " includes, besides the principal designers in decoration, 
painters, architects, sculptors, wood-carvers, metal-workers, en- 
gravers, and representatives of various other crafts." Mr. William 
Morris became a member in November, 1888. He read before the 
Guild a paper on "The Influence of Building Materials upon 
Architecture." He was elected Master for the year 1892, and 
afterwards ranked as Past-Master of the Guild. 

Morris took a much more active part in the conduct of the 
Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, although neither in this case 
was he the actual originator. However, he very soon became 
drawn into it, and readily lent it his influential support soon 
after the scheme of it had been formulated. Thus he may be 
accounted as a co-founder of the Society, whose existence he 
recognized as " one of the tokens " of the revival of decorative art 
in our day. It was " in the summer of 1886," according to Mr. 
Walter Crane, the first President of the Society, that " the 
smouldering discontent which always exists among artists in 
regard to the Royal Academy, threatened to burst into something 
like a flame." A letter signed by Messrs. George Clausen, 
W. Holman Hunt and Walter Crane, " appeared in the leading 
dailies proposing the establishment of a really national exhibition 
of the arts, which should include not only painting, sculpture, and 
architecture, but also the arts of design generally. . . . The idea 
of such a comprehensive exhibition was an exciting one, and 
large and enthusiastic meetings were held of artists." But the 
great stir that had promised so much began to dwindle into 
inanity. It was soon disclosed that the motive of the picture- 
painters was not the developing of the arts at all, but only the 
pressing of certain changes in the election of the hanging com- 
mittee of the Academy. " The decorative artists, . . . perceiving 
their vision of a really representative exhibition of contemporary 


work in the arts fading away and the whole force of the move- 
ment being wasted in the forlorn hope of forcing reforms upon 
the Academy, left the agitators in a body, and took counsel 
together, with the immediate result that the Arts and Crafts 
Exhibition Society came into being. Most of the members of the 
new Society already belonged to the Art Workers' Guild. They 
desired to illustrate and emphasize the importance of the indus- 
trial arts as distinguished from the art of picture-painting, or, to 
quote Mr. Crane once more, " to assert the claims of the decora- 
tive designer and craftsman to the position of artist, and give 
every one responsible in any way for the artistic character of a 
work full individual credit, by giving his name in the catalogue, 
whether the work was exhibited by a firm or not. They also 
desired to bring the worker and the public together." There 
being great risk of pecuniary loss attending an exhibition of this 
kind, a certain number of gentlemen came forward and made 
themselves answerable as guarantors in the event of a deficit. 
Among the number Mr. Morris, who was on the committee, 
generously guaranteed a considerable sum. His action in the 
matter was the more noteworthy on account of its perfect disin- 
terestedness. Morris himself had, as it is scarcely necessary to 
point out, nothing to gain, either for himself personally or for his 
firm, by an exhibition. His own artistic reputation had been 
established long since ; and the only possible consequence to him, 
apart from the satisfaction he would naturally feel in the general 
advancement and popularizing of the arts, would be that he might 
have helped to advertise other and younger workers in the same 
field, and thereby have equipped them to enter the more easily 
into competition with himself on his own ground. The first 
exhibition was held in the autumn of 1888 at the New Gallery, in 
Regent Street. It comprised not merely designs for work, but 
the actual work itself, executed in wood-carving and furniture ; 
embroidery, tapestry, and other textiles ; glass and pottery ; wall- 
papers ; leather and metal work and jewellery ; as well as book 
decoration, printing and binding, all selected for their artistic and 
decorative quality alone ; " and undoubtedly included some of 
the best contemporary work which had been produced in England 
up to that time." This sort of exhibition was quite a new de- 
parture and created a precedent which has since been followed 
in many places, not only in the United Kingdom, but also on the 
Continent and in America. Four subsequent exhibitions of the 
Arts and Crafts Society have been held in London, at the New 
Gallery, in the years 1889, 1890, 1893, and 1896 respectively. Mr. 
William Morris was elected President of the Society at their 

129 L L 

annual general meeting in January, 1891, which office he con- 
tinued to discharge until his death. He himself and his family, 
as well as the firm of Morris and Co., have contributed numerous 
objects of art work to the several exhibitions of the Society. 
Moreover, a series of lectures in connection with the exhibitions 
(saving the third one) having been organized for the purpose of 
setting out the aims of the Society, and, by demonstration and 
otherwise, of directing attention to the processes employed in the 
arts and crafts, and so laying a foundation for the just apprecia- 
tion both of the processes themselves and of their importance as 
methods in design, Morris delivered three lectures : viz., on 
" Tapestry and Carpet Weaving " during the first exhibition ; on 
" Gothic Architecture " during the second ; and " On the Printing 
of Books " during the third. Prefixed to the catalogues of the 
first three exhibitions of the Society were various essays on 
special arts and crafts written by different members. Morris 
was one of the contributors, and when the essays were collected 
and published together in 1893, he wrote a preface to the volume. 
In fact, as the whole movement owed its being to him, so were 
his interest and guidance the inspiration and mainstay of the 
Society throughout. It may be added that the choice of the 
Society could not have fallen upon a worthier representative 
living to carry on the traditions of their late President than 
Morris's friend and colleague, Walter Crane. 

Mr. Morris belonged also to the Bibliographical Society. A 
preliminary meeting of those interested in the formation of such 
a society was held on July 15th, 1892, at the offices of the Library 
Association. Mr. W. A. Copinger set forth the aims of the pro- 
posed Society, which are as follows : the acquisition of information 
upon subjects connected with bibliography ; the promotion and 
encouragement of bibliographical studies and researches ; the 
printing and publishing of works connected with bibliography; 
and the formation of a bibliographical library at the headquarters 
at 20, Hanover Square. Resolutions to the above effect were 
carried, and a provisional committee and honorary secretary 
appointed to draw up rules based on the resolutions. On 
November 21st, 1892, the Society was inaugurated formally with 
an address by its first President, Mr. Copinger, who concluded 
with these words : " The objects of the Society are broad, and the 
sphere of labour great — success depends mainly on united effort. 
The formation of the Society should mark an epoch in the litera- 
ture of this country. It should raise the standard of excellence, 
and should labour with steady growth until bibliography is estab- 
lished as an exact science, and occupies that proper position in 


the realm of literature from which it has been so long by ignorance 
excluded." The Society meets from time to time for the purpose 
of hearing some paper or papers upon matters connected with the 
objects of the Society, it being within the discretion of the Council 
to print such papers among the Society's transactions. W. Morris 
contributed a valuable paper, entitled "The Ideal Book." 

On June 7th, 1894, Mr. Morris was elected a Fellow of the 
Society of Antiquaries of London, and admitted formally on 
November 22nd. To the Exhibition of English Mediaeval Paint- 
ings and Illuminated MSS., organized by the Society at their 
apartments in Burlington House, in June, 1896, Mr. Morris con- 
tributed a valuable and important selection from his library, viz., 
A Bestiary on vellum, given to the church of SS. Mary and Cuth- 
bert, at Radeford {i.e. Worksop Priory), in the year 1187; a Latin 
Psalter of the twelfth century, on vellum, with illuminated initials, 
with forty pages with pictures of Biblical subjects and martyrdoms 
of saints ; four leaves from a Latin Psalter, date circa 1260 ; a Book 
of Hours, with two full-page miniatures and richly illuminated 
initials and ornamentation throughout, executed circa 1300 ; a 
Sarum Missal with historiated initials, and a great number of 
other ornaments ; and another Sarum Missal, illuminated, of the 
fourteenth century. A loan collection of illuminated MSS. be- 
longing to Mr. Morris was on view at the South Kensington 
Museum at the time of his death. 


OOKS and the beautifying of books were 
no new fancy of Mr. Morris's. He began 
in the early sixties by taking up wood- 
engraving. The process he learnt in 
the first instance by copying for practice 
some of Albert Diirer's woodcuts. Mr. 
Faulkner also learnt the art ; and it was 
he who engraved, after D. G. Rossetti's 
design, the frontispiece for Miss Christina 
Rossetti's " Goblin Market," which was 
published in 1862. The initials M. M. 
F. and Co., in the corner of the picture, identified it as having 
been executed on the part of the firm of Messrs. Morris, Marshall, 
Faulkner and Co. 

About 1865 Mr. Morris was full of the project: of the great 
poem of " The Earthly Paradise," for which work he purposed an 
elaborate scheme of illustrations, to be engraved after Burne- 
Jones's drawings. The first of these were a set founded upon 
Apuleius's story of Cupid and Psyche. Mr. Fairfax Murray is 
the owner of the original studies, tracings of which by the 
artist's hand, to the number of forty-three, outlined partly in pencil 
and partly in ink upon tracing paper, for the purpose of trans- 
ferring to the wood blocks, are now preserved in the Ruskin 
School, beneath the University galleries, in the building of the 
Taylorian Institution at Oxford. Among these drawings one at 
least, viz., that of Pan and Psyche, was developed into an oil 
painting (1874). Morris used to work on his own account upon 
the engraving of these designs in the evenings after business 
hours. Eight or nine were cut by others — the Misses Faulkner 
(one of whom had learnt the technique of the process at Messrs. 
Smith and Linton's), Miss Burden, Messrs. Wardle and Camp- 
field. But the majority of the engravings were the work of 
Morris's own hand. A few impressions only were printed, of 
which a limited number of sets are yet extant in private posses- 
sion. They are now very scarce and valuable, never having been 
published. Other designs for the same work were made by 
Burne-Jones to illustrate the stories of " Pygmalion and the 
Image," " The Ring given to Venus," and Tannhauser. The 
collaboration of the two artists has been mentioned already in 
these pages. So also Morris made verses for Burne-Jones's set 
of pictures of Pygmalion and Galatea, Day, Night, the Seasons, 



and " The Briar Rose "—the last- 
named series being completed in 
1890. Morris, moreover, engraved 
with his own hand the square 
block designed by Burne-Jones 
for the title-page of " The Earthly 
Paradise," which block, however, 
was used only in the first edition 
of that work, having been burnt 
in the fire at Queen Square, in 
1877. The block for the second 
and subsequent editions was re- 
engraved for Mr. Morris by George 
Campfield. A larger wood-block, 
designed by Morris himself and 
representing St. Catherine, was 
likewise destroyed in the fire. 

In 1871 Morris was preparing 
to issue as a decorative volume his poem, " Love is Enough." He 
himself designed and engraved blocks for initials, borders, and 
other ornaments for it, including a small amount of figure-work. 
The first page was set up in type and printed, but never published, 
for the undertaking was discontinued very shortly. Burne-Jones 
also made in 1872 a set of drawings to illustrate the poem, as well 
as a frontispiece. The latter was not finished until after the idea 
of the publication had been abandoned. By that time the draw- 
ing had passed into the hands of Fairfax Murray, and it was for 
him that Burne-Jones eventually completed the design. 

About 1870 Morris had cut from his designs a set of punches 
for the hand-tooling of leather bindings. These punches were 
unfortunately lost— not, however, before they had been turned to 
practical account in the ornamentation, in floral diaper pattern, 
of at least two book covers, which belong respectively to Lady 
Burne-Jones and to Mr. Fairfax Murray. 

If it cannot be claimed that Morris was actually the first to 
deal with the cloth cover as an object susceptible of artistic 
adornment, at any rate he was not far behindhand. The earliest 
design produced for this class of work that can make any preten- 
sion to artistic merit is perhaps the cloth binding of " Recollec- 
tions of A. N. Welby Pugin, and his father, Augustus Pugin," 
by Benjamin Ferrey, published 1861. This is a semi-heraldic 
design with martlets, and the motto " En Avant " running across 
in diagonal bands. The next may be said to be Rossetti's design 
for the cover of his sister's poems in 1862. Although neither was 

133 M M 

the next design from Morris's pencil, yet it was made at his 
instance for the cover of his and Magnusson's translation of 
" The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs." The pattern on the 
side consists of flowers and flying birds on an arabesque ground ; 
while that on the back, with conventional birds and rabbits, may 
be taken~ to mark the highest point of the designer, Mr. Philip 
Webb's, capacity in this line. There were twelve large paper 
copies of the book, the title-page in most instances being orna- 
mented with colour-decorations by Morris's own hand. His 
first design for a cloth cover was the graceful pattern of foliage, 
made in 1872, to be printed in gold on the cover of his poem, 
" Love is Enough ; " his second for the edition of " The Earthly 
Paradise," complete in one volume (1890) — a beautiful design 
with willow sprays for the back and a device of somewhat oriental 
outline on the side of the book. 

Morris had always a strong feeling in favour of the art of 
illumination, as may be gathered from the words which he puts 
into the mouth of " A Good Knight in Prison " in " The Defence 
of Guenevere." The captive declares that the worst misfortunes 
that threaten fail to strike terror into him : 

" Why, all these things I hold them just 
Like dragons in a missal book, 
Wherein, whenever we may look 
We see no horror, yea, delight 
We have, the colours are so bright ; 
Likewise we note the specks of white, 
And the great plates of burnish'd gold." 

At the time that he resided in Queen Square, Morris used to 
occupy himself on his own account, that is to say, independently 
of the firm, with transcribing and illuminating. The Odes of 
Horace, the heads in the angles of the first page from designs by 
Burne-Jones, but otherwise without pictures, and transcribed 
and ornamented entirely by his own hand, he retained in his own 
possession; but the greater part of the fruits of his immense 
industry in this branch of art he gave away. Lady Burne-Jones 
is the owner of four of these works, the particulars of which are 
as follows : 

No. 1. A Book of Verse, by William Morris, written in 
London, 1870. Bound MS. on paper. 4to. 51 numbered pages. 
The title-page is illuminated and contains a medallion portrait head 
of the author to left, inscribed, William Morris MDCCCLXX. 
C. F. Murray pinx. The table of contents : 


The Two Sides of the River. 

The Shows of May. 

The Fears of June. 

The Hopes of October. 

The Weariness of November. 

Love Fulfilled. 

Rest from Seeking. 


Prologue to the Volsung Tale. 

Love and Death. 

Guileful Love. 

Summer Night. 

Hope Dieth, Love Liveth. 

Love Alone. 

Meeting in Winter. 

A Garden by the Sea. 

The Ballad of Christine. 

To Grettir Asmundson. 

The Son's Sorrow. 

The Lapse of the Year. 

Sundering Summer. 

To the Muse of the North. 

Lonely Love and Loveless Death. 

Birth of June. 

Praise of Venus. 
The second, third, fourth and fifth poems in this list were 
published among the poems of the months in " The Earthly Para- 
dise " for May, July, October, and November respectively. The 
majority of the remaining poems appeared in " Poems by the 
Way." The headpiece above the commencement of the first 
poem was executed by the hand of Burne-Jones. An inscription 
at the end of the book details by whom the various parts of the 
work were carried out : " As to those who have had a hand in 
making this book, Edward Burne-Jones painted the picture on 
page i. The other pictures were all painted by Charles F. 
Murray, but the minstrel figures on the title-page and the figures 
of Spring, Summer, and Autumn on page 40, he did from my 
drawings. As to the pattern work, George Wardle drew in all 
the ornaments in the first ten pages, and I coloured it ; he also 
did all the coloured letters both big and little ; the rest of the orna- 
ment I did, together with all the writing. Also I made all the 
verses ; but two poems, ' The Ballad of Christine,'and ' The Son's 
Sorrow' I translated out of the Icelandic. (Signed) William 
Morris, 26 Queen Sq :, Bloomsbury. London. August 26th 1870." 


No. 2. The Story of the Dwellers in Eyr. Bound MS. on 
Whatman's paper. Folio. 239 numbered pages, exclusive of the 
index. The work begins with a Prologue, in four-foot measure, 
consisting of two stanzas of fourteen lines each, and concludes 
with an Epilogue, in the same measure, of 19 and 9 lines in 
rhymed couplets. There are sixty-five chapters, and the whole is 
written in a set script, the headlines, Prologue and Epilogue in 
brown ink, the rest in black. The first page is elaborately illumi- 
nated in gold. " Here beginneth the story of the Dwellers at 
Eyr : And this first chapter telleth of Ketil Flatneb : and of how 
he won the South Isles ; " and similarly, at the end of the text, is 
illuminated in gold : " And thus endeth the story of the men of 
Thorsness, the Dwellers of Eyr, and those who dwelt by Swan- 
firth." This is followed by an index of names of people, in double 
columns, 6 pages. 

The floral ornament throughout the book is outlined in brown 
ink, delicately tinted in with pale greens and blue greens, and 
embellished more richly in parts with gold and silver. A note at 
the end of the book in Morris's ordinary handwriting says : " I 
translated this book out of the Icelandic with the help of my 
master in that tongue, Eirikr Magnusson, sometime of Heydalr 
in the East Firths of Iceland ; it was the first Icelandic book I 
read with him. I wrote it all out myself, and did all the orna- 
ment throughout the book myself, except the laying on of the 
gold leaf on pp. 1, 230, and 239, which was done by a man named 
Wilday, a workman of ours. (Signed), William Morris, 26 Queen 
Square, Bloomsbury, London. April 19th, 1871." 

No. 3. The Story of Hen Thorir, The Story of the Banded 
Men, The Story of Haward the Halt. Translated and engrossed 
by William Morris. Bound MS. on paper. Small 4to. 244 num- 
bered pages. There is an illuminated title and large capital at 
the beginning of each story. The work, which has no date nor 
note concludes with : A Gloss in Rhyme on the story of Haward 
by William Morris, consisting of 58 lines of heroic couplets. The 
transcript is in black, with headlines and also the gloss in 
brown ink. On the first page are illuminated the owner's initials, 
G. B. J. 

No. 4. The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Bound in leather 
with gold stamped ornament. 23 pages of fine vellum, covered 
with text and ornament, with only the very narrowest margins 
left plain. At the back of the last page is written : " I finished 
my work on this book on the sixteenth of October, 1872. (Signed), 
William Morris." 

This last surpasses the others in the minute elaboration and 


richness of its gold and coloured ornament ; in respect of which 
generally, as in the other books, should be noted the extraordi- 
nary power displayed in the treatment of natural forms— such 
naturalness that each kind of flower or fruit may be recognized 
clearly, at the same time that the effect is perfectly decorative : 
and so far from being in any sense a reproduction or copy of old 
work, it seems rather, by carrying on the art in accordance with 
old traditions, to bring it to a stage of evolution of style in advance 
of anything it ever attained before. 

A larger and, on that account, more ambitious project than 
any of the foregoing was the " Aeneid " of Virgil, which Morris 
proposed to transcribe entirely with his own hand, and to adorn 
with storied initials and other ornaments. The pictures at the 
head of each book, and the figure subjects within the initials 
were designed by Burne-Jones, and executed partly by Morris, 
partly by Fairfax Murray. The Latin text is written in the style 
of the eleventh century upon folio sheets of the finest vellum, 
imported expressly from Italy. This work, undertaken in the 
early seventies, was never finished. The leaves which comprise 
the existing fragment of it belong to Mr. Fairfax Murray, who is 
the owner also of a folio book of the Story of Frithiof, transcribed 
by Morris in somewhat similar script to the last, and adorned 
with illuminations by the same hand. Few only of these orna- 
ments were ever completed. They consist of floral sprays exe- 
cuted with exquisite delicacy of design and colouring; but for the 
most part the outline only of the ornament has been roughed in 
in pencil. 

Thus from early times the germs of his printing press, itself 
the logical and necessary outcome of ornamenting books by hand, 
were present with Morris ; although pressure of other work, 
more particularly his active propaganda of Socialism, intervening, 
postponed their fruition for a season. 

In November 1890, on the eve of the establishing of the Kelm- 
scott Press, Morris caused to be printed for himself at the Chiswick 
Press, in octavo size, " The Story of Gunnlaug Worm-tongue," in 
Caxton type, blank spaces being left for the initials, that they 
might be rubricated. This task, however, was never accom- 
plished ; and consequently the edition, which consisted of three 
copies on vellum, intended for private circulation, and 75 on 
hand-made paper, for sale, was not issued at all ; in fact, most of 
the sheets remained stored away, unbound. 

Already the Chiswick Press had produced, under Mr. Morris's 
direction, in December, 1888, " The House of the Wolfings," with 
its striking title-page — striking, that is, at the time ; for the thing 

137 N N 

is done commonly enough now, once the way has been shown us 
of making a title-page " a thing of beauty, and not the mere art- 
less statement of a fad." But in 1888 it could only be done by 
setting at nought all the received conventions of the printing 
trade. " In every other book," says Mr. Joseph Pennell, " the aim 
of the printer was, at that time, to get in as many opposing styles 
as possible " and to hurl them down upon " the page in the most 
absurd and inharmonious fashion." " In Morris's book," on the 
contrary, " there is a perfect unity in the type itself, there is perfect 
beauty in the way it is put on the page, and yet only one charac- 
ter is used." He repeated his experiment in " The Roots of the 
Mountains," in 1890. 

Although, according to Mr. Herbert Home, it was as far back 
as 1883 or 1884 that Morris had serious thoughts of setting up a 
printing press of his own, " it was not until the year 1890, when 
he bought a copy of Wynkyn de Worde's edition of the ' Golden 
Legend ' that his intention took a practical form in the determina- 
tion to reprint that famous work. From this time to the day of 
his death Morris concentrated his best energies on the craft of 
printing. With the help of his friend Mr. Emery Walker, he set 
about to design and cast a new fount of type ; and to this end he 
bought whatever incunabula he was able to procure, causing a 
number of examples of the type, with which they were printed, 
to be enlarged by photography to five times their original size. 
In this way he studied not only their original forms, but the 
causes also of the effect to which those separate letters contri- 
buted in the composition of the page. . . . His invariable practice 
in reviving any craft was to go back to the time when it was last 
exercised in its highest perfection, to examine its processes in 
the best examples, and then to apply them to existing needs and 
circumstances, so far as that was compatible with good taste and 
good workmanship." Having then compared and analyzed and 
studied the various founts of type until he had mastered, with his 
usual thoroughness, the ideal form and the underlying principles 
that constitute the beauty of every letter of the alphabet, Morris 
began to fashion his own type. Each single letter he designed 
by his own hand ; on a larger scale at first, lest any blemish of 
line or proportion might escape notice in little. He then had 
them reduced by photography to the required working size, and 
again submitted to him for final revision before being handed to 
the typecutter. It may be mentioned here that Morris caused 
the type to be cut under his immediate direction, and cast 
by Sir Charles Reed and Sons. Those only who themselves 
have tried to design letters, and who, in the process, have learnt 


how slight a modification goes to the making or marring of the 
perfect form, will appreciate the labour and patience involved in 
designing two whole founts of type in upper and lower-case. Two, 
for although Morris had nominally three founts, the Golden, the 
Troy, and the Chaucer, the last two practically do not differ from 
one another except in scale, the Troy type being larger than the 
other one. They are both Gothic in style, as distinct from the 
Golden type, which is roman. Consider first, then, the latter, 
since it was designed first. In his paper on " The Ideal Book " 
Morris goes into details with regard to the correct formation of 
roman letters — details which may be quoted here, as they 
embody some of the principal points which he observed in the 
designing of his own type. For instance, " the full-sized lower- 
case letters ' a,' ' b,' ' d,' and ' c ' should be designed on some- 
thing like a square to get good results : otherwise one may fairly 
say that there is not room enough for the design ; furthermore 
each letter should have its due characteristic drawing ; the thick- 
ening out for a ' b,' ' e,' ' g ' should not be of the same kind as 
that for a ' d ' ; a ' u ' should not merely be an ' n ' turned upside 
down ; the dot of the ' i ' should not be a circle drawn with com- 
passes but a delicately drawn diamond, and so on. To be short, 
the letters should be designed by an artist, and not an engineer." 
The founts in general use at the present day are less the products 
of a deteriorated tradition than of sheer commercial economy, the 
object being to crowd as much lettering as may be into a given 
space. Thus the ordinary letters are of a narrow and pinched 
appearance, as compared with Morris's, which, as in the case of 
the " m " and " n " for instance, are remarkably broad and strong. 
In fact a general sense of breadth and squareness characterizes 
his letters. His " o " does not follow the commonly received oval 
outline, but is nearly a circle, with an oblique instead of the 
usual vertical opening. In the head of his letter " c " he has got 
rid of the usual ugly pear-shaped enlargement. The ceriphs, 
which in ordinary type are either all thin throughout, or sliced 
off to very near a point at the ends, are, it should be noted, in 
Morris's letters strong and broad. It is also to be noted, as signi- 
ficant of his unconscious bias towards Gothic forms, that the 
ceriphs of his roman type are set, many of them, diagonally, 
whereas they are horizontal in Jenson's letters, which Morris took 
for his model. 

But to continue with his remarks on " The Ideal Book," he 
says that the hideous " Bodoni letter," with its " clumsy thicken- 
ing and vulgar thinning of the lines," is " the most illegible type 
that was ever cut," and it " has been mostly relegated to works 


that do not profess anything but the baldest utilitarianism. ... It 
is rather unlucky . . . that a somewhat low standard of excellence 
has been accepted for the design of modern roman type at its 
best, the comparatively poor and wiry letter of Plantin, and the 
Elsevirs, having served for the model, rather than the generous 
and logical designs of the fifteenth century Venetian printers, at 
the head of whom stands Nicholas Jenson ; when it is so obvious 
that this is the best and clearest roman type yet struck, it seems 
a pity that We should make our starting point for a possible new 
departure at any worse period than the best." Jenson was the 
first Frenchman who brought the roman letter to perfection. 
Morris then goes on to say that " except where books smaller 
than an ordinary octavo are wanted "he would oppose "anything 
smaller than pica." As to black letter, the kind introduced from 
Holland and used in this country since the days of Wynkyn de 
Worde, " though a handsome and stately letter, is not very easy 
reading. It is too much compressed, too spiky, and, so to say, 
too prepensely Gothic. But there are many types which are of a 
transitional character and of all degrees of transition, from those 
which do little more than take in just a little of the crisp floweri- 
ness of the Gothic, like some of the Mentelin, or quasi-Mentelin, 
ones (which, indeed, are models of beautiful simplicity), or, say, 
like the letter of the Ulm Ptolemy, ... to the splendid Maintz 
type, of which, I suppose, the finest example is the Schceffer 
Bible of 1462." In another place Morris says : " The Middle 
Ages brought caligraphy to perfection, and it was natural there- 
fore that the forms of printed letters should follow more or less 
closely those of the written character, and they followed them 
very closely." He was also of opinion that " the capitals are the 
strong side of roman, and the lower-case of Gothic letter." The 
difficulty of constructing upper-case Gothic letters is one which 
Morris seems scarcely to bave been completely successful in 
overcoming. His M and N do not harmonize with the pro- 
nouncedly Gothic aspect of the F, the L, the S, and the V ; while 
the other letters, for the most part, incline rather to the Lombardic 
style. His Arabic numerals, however, are altogether excellent, 
both for clearness and for beauty. This is the place to point out 
the fact of Morris's entire freedom from affectation of archaism 
when archaism, no matter howso overwhelmingly strong a pre- 
cedent it might show, would have meant endangering the legi- 
bility of the work. For instance, he did not adopt the long form of 
the lower-case " s," because it is liable to be confounded with an 
"f": he employed tied letters but sparingly; and as to the 
abbreviations, which constitute the main difficulty of reading 


mediaeval books, he discarded them altogether. He did not even 
print the catchword at the foot of the page. 

As regards the aspect of the book, the " matter " in every case 
will necessarily " limit us somewhat " says Morris. " A work on 
differential calculus, a medical work, a dictionary, a collection of 
a statesman's speeches, or a treatise on manures, such books, 
though they might be handsomely and well printed, would 
scarcely receive ornament with the same exuberance as a volume 
of lyrical poems, or a standard classic, or suchlike. A work on 
Art, I think, bears less of ornament than any other kind of book 
{11011 bis in idem is a good motto) ; again, a book that must have illustra- 
tions, more or less utilitarian, should, I think, have no actual orna- 
ment at all, because the ornament and the illustration must almost 
certainly fight. Still, whatever the subject matter of the book 
may be, and however bare it may be of decoration, it can still be 
a work of art, if the type be good, and attention be paid to its 
general arrangement. . . . Well, I lay it down that a book quite 
unornamented can look actually and positively beautiful ... if it be, 
so to say, architecturally good. . . . Now, then, let us see what this 
architectural arrangement claims of us. First, the pages must be 
clear and easy to read ; which they can hardly be unless, Secondly, 
the type is well designed ; and Thirdly, whether the margins be 
small or big, they must be in due proportion to the page of letter." 
There should be small whites between letters : what tends to 
illegibility is not this sort of compression, but the lateral com- 
pression of the letters themselves. The next consideration, of 
great importance in the making of a beautiful page, is " the lateral 
spacing of the words. . . . No more white should be" left "be- 
tween the words than just clearly cuts them off from one another; 
if the whites are bigger than this it both tends to illegibility and 
makes the page ugly. ... If you want a legible book, the white 
should be clear and the black black. . . . You may depend upon 
it that a grey page is very trying to the eyes." As to the " posi- 
tion of the page of print on the paper . . . the hinder edge (that 
which is bound in) must be the smallest member of the margins, 
the head margin must be larger than this, the fore larger still, 
and the tail largest of all." These are the proper proportions, for 
the simple reason that the unit of the book is not one page by 
itself but the two corresponding pages of an open book, regarded 
together. Morris then goes on to say that he is against large 
paper copies, " though I have sinned a good deal in that way 
myself, but that was in the days of ignorance." " Making a large 
paper copy out of the small one " leads to a dilemma, that, " if the 
margins are right for the smaller book, they must be wrong for 

141 o o 

the larger, and you have to offer the public the worse book at the 
bigger price : if they are right for the large paper they are wrong 
for the small, and thus spoil it, . . . and that seems scarcely fair to 
the general public." The logic of this reasoning is unanswerable. 
Morris would prefer, in any case where there are two prices, to 
make some material difference in the work itself, so that the two 
issues should not correspond so far as to rival one another, nor 
occasion any dissatisfaction in the mind of those who had pur- 
chased on the higher or the lower scale. Then, as to the orna- 
ment, it " must form as much a part of the page as the type itself, 
or it will miss its mark, and in order to succeed, and to be orna- 
ment, it must submit to certain limitations, and become architec- 
tural." Morris puts the matter thus in his Arts and Crafts essay : 
" The essential point to be remembered is that the ornament, 
whatever it is, whether picture or pattern-work, should form part 
of the page, should be a part of the whole scheme of the book. 
Simple as this proposition is, it is necessary to be stated, because 
the modern practice is to disregard the relation between the 
printing and the ornament altogether, so that if the two are help- 
ful to one another it is a mere matter of accident." To resume, 
" The picture-book is not, perhaps, absolutely necessary to man's 
life, but it gives such endless pleasure, and is so intimately con- 
nected with the other absolutely necessary art of imaginative 
literature, that it must remain one of the very worthiest things 
towards the production of which reasonable men should strive." 

With the exception of the figure-subject illustrations, Mr. 
Morris designed with his own hand every ornament for the 
Kelmscott publications, from the minute leaves and flowers, 
forming a sort of " glorified full-stop," to which exception has 
been taken by some, to the large borders and titles for folio-size 
pages. Although it is true that the same borders and initials do 
sometimes recur in one and the same work (recur indeed too 
often to please certain of the artist's critics) in many, perhaps in 
the majority of instances, the ornaments were designed, one by 
one, specially as required for any given page, and moreover with 
a view to each one's position on the page. The artist would be 
provided with a sheet of paper from the Press, ready set out with 
ruled lines, showing the exact place and space wanted to be 
occupied by initial, border or what not, and he would fill 
accordingly. Morris designed the ornaments, not with a pen, 
but with a brush. It was most usual during the last few years of 
his life, on calling, to find him thus engaged, with his Indian ink 
and Chinese white in little saucers before him upon the table, its 
boards bare of any cloth covering, but littered with books and 


papers and .sheets of MS. He did not place any value on the 
original designs, regarding them as just temporary instruments, 
only fit, as soon as engraved, to be thrown away. Many an exqui- 
site design of this sort has been rescued from the waste-paper 
basket by Morris's friend, Emery Walker. Morris used to keep 
what he called a " log-book " of the Press, i.e. a book with a printed 
specimen, by way of reference and record, of every ornament he 
had ever designed for the Kelmscott Press. He included in the 
collection those designs which, though executed, were not eventu- 
ally used ; whether it was because an ornament in any given 
case had proved unsuitable for the page for which it was origin- 
ally intended, or because the artist adjudged it, after all, to fall 
short of the high standard he demanded. For, as to the time and 
trouble and expense wasted, these considerations counted nothing 
with Morris ; if the result itself was unsatisfactory in his eyes, he 
would not allow it to be used at all. The principal designs were 
engraved on wood, under Morris's own supervision, by W. H. 
Hooper ; the less important ornaments by C. E. Keates, W. 
Spielmeyer, and a small number by G. Campfield. 

Since no detail was overlooked that might contribute to make 
the books of the Kelmscott Press as perfect as possible, Morris 
paid particular heed to the kind of paper he used. He was no 
advocate of thick paper, least of all in small books, but that it 
should be of the first quality was an indispensable condition. He 
disapproved strongly of machine-made papers of every sort, from 
the frankly mechanical paper, with shiny, calendered surface, to 
that which is made in such wise as to imitate handwork. He 
was never tired of foretelling that the modern machine-made 
papers of wood pulp and clay will perish, and the books made of 
it may be expected ere long to be no more. It is essential, then, 
that paper should be genuine hand-made material. But " at the 
time Morris first set up the Press ..." says Mr. Herbert Home, 
" there was no paper in the market so well suited to the purposes 
of printing, of so fine a quality, and of so beautiful a colour and 
texture, as that employed by the early printers, as the paper, for 
example, which was ordinarily used by Aldus. To produce paper 
which should equal that was Morris's first care ; but this was only 
to be done by reverting to the plain and honest methods of the old 
paper-makers ; by using unbleached linen rags, and by employing 
a mould, in which the wires have not been woven with the 
mechanical accuracy that gives to modern hand-made paper its 
uninteresting character. The paper which Morris succeeded in " 
getting was made expressly for him by Mr. Batchelor, at Little 
Chart, near Ashford, and " resembles the paper of the early printers 


in all its best qualities : it is thin, very tough, and somewhat trans- 
parent ; pleasing not only to the eye, but to the hand also ; having 
something of the clean, crisp quality of a new banknote." Even 
so minute a detail as the pattern of the water-marks was the 
object of Morris's careful attention. He designed himself the 
three he used for paper of different sizes, viz., the apple, the 
daisy, and the perch with a spray in its mouth, each of these 
devices being accompanied by the initials W. M. 

The quality of the ink was again a consideration that caused 
Morris much anxiety ; the greyness of ordinary inks being a 
serious defect in his eyes. The home-manufactured ink he used 
first not being found black enough, he had to procure ink from 
abroad for the later publications of the Press ; ink composed of 
pure linseed oil and lampblack, and such that has excellent 
drying properties. Morris purposed to mix his own inks, and 
there is no doubt that, had he lived, he would have added this 
undertaking to that of the printer's craft. The ink at the Kelm- 
scott Press was applied by hand in the old way, with pelt-balls ; a 
process which insures a more perfect covering of the surface of 
the type, and consequently a richer and heavier black impression 
than inking the type by mechanical means. In this connection 
" it must be remembered . . . that most modern printing is done 
by machinery on soft paper, and not by the hand-press, and . . . 
somewhat wiry letters are suitable for the machine process, which 
would not do justice to letters of more generous design." 

Mr. Colebrook remarks, in his lecture printed in " The Printing 
Times and Lithographer" (November, 1896), that "the proper 
damping of sheets is a most important feature of the Kelmscott 
printing. The paper used is extremely sensitive. Each sheet is 
placed between two damping papers." Morris used the hand- 
press alone at the Kelmscott Press, as it is hardly necessary to 
state, the old method being also in his opinion the best for in- 
suring an equable pressure of the paper upon the inked type. 
The damping of the paper and the enormous pressure employed 
in the hand-press necessarily reproduced a feature of old books, 
to wit embossing, which gives sometimes pronounced evidence 
of the page having been printed on either side. The proper 
damping of the vellum sheets was a matter of special difficulty ; 
and, in spite of the increased cost and greater durability of the 
vellum copies, it may be questioned whether the paper copies, 
with their rougher texture, are not superior in aesthetic appearance. 
For it is impossible, on account of the somewhat greasy surface 
of the vellum, to insure the ink always adhering and giving a 
uniformly black impression throughout the printed page. 



As regards the binding of 
the Kelmscott books, Morris 
selected Leighton for this 
purpose. Some books are 
bound in half-holland, with 
grey paper-covered mill- 
board sides, while others are 
bound in white vellum with 
silk ties. It must be confessed 
that, picturesque as it may 
be in appearance, a book of 
any weight, on account of 
the limpness of its vellum 
cover, is difficult to hold in 
such a way that one may be 
able to read it, unless it is 
supported in both hands. For 
his own use, whereas the 
majority of copies are bound 
in white, Morris preferred 
vellum of a brownish tint. 

The first book proposed 
to be issued from the Kelm- 
scott Press was " The Golden 
Legend," but by some accident the paper intended for that work 
proved unsuitable for the purpose, and Morris having to utilize it 
somehow, it occurred to him to print a small edition of two 
hundred copies of his " Story of the Glittering Plain." This book 
then was the first that Morris printed. The first page was set up, 
according to Mr. Herbert Home, on January 31st, 1891, which 
marks practically the date of the foundation of the Kelmscott 
Press. This was at No. 16, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Kelmscott House, and next door to 
the house No. 14, in which the Press was subsequently estab- 
lished. " The Story of the Glittering Plain " was finished on 
April 4th. It was a plain edition, without illustrations, but its 
successful reception showed Morris at once the opening there 
was for books of the kind. Nearly three years later Morris pro- 
duced, in Troy type, another edition of the same work enriched 
with twenty-three pictures designed by Walter Crane, very 
beautiful in themselves, but perhaps not quite free enough from 
the suspicion of Renaissance influence to be altogether in keeping 
with the Gothic character of the surrounding borders and other 
ornaments in whose company they were set. 

145 pp 


The second book that issued from the Kelmscott Press was 
another of Morris's own works, " Poems by the Way," finished in 
September, 1891. This book is printed in black and red. It con- 
tains the earliest of the ornamental borders designed by Morris, 
and betokens that he had not as yet developed his own peculiar 
Gothic style for this sort of work. It has the unmistakable 
character about it of Italian book ornaments of the fifteenth 
century, a remarkable style, because it seems to point to a recur- 
rence — whether intentional or not it is impossible to say— to a 
kind of early Romanesque ornament, of which the main feature 
consists rather of convolutions and somewhat intricate inter- 
twinings of tendrils, as distinct from bold lines or masses of foliage. 

There followed Mr. Wilfrid Blunt's " Love Lyrics and Songs 
of Proteus ; " and next, " The Nature of Gothic, a Chapter of the 
Stones of Venice." Morris felt very strongly that Ruskin's mag- 
nificent prose English had never yet been presented in worthy 
garb ; and the selection of this book therefore had a twofold aim, 
viz., to show what might be done in the way of beautiful printing 
of Ruskin's works ; in addition to the emphasizing of Morris's 
deep sense, as he explained in the introduction he wrote and 
printed along with the book, of the immense importance he 
attached to this, which represents the very kernel of Ruskin's 
teaching on the subject of Architecture. Next, finished in April, 
1892, was published the Kelmscott Press edition of Morris's 
" Defence of Guenevere ; " and, in the following month, his 
V " Dream of John Ball and a King's Lesson." The frontispiece 
is a woodcut design by Burne-Jones illustrating, appropriately 
enough, the couplet : 

" When Adam delved and Eve span, 
Who was then the gentleman ? " 

This fact is worth noticing, since it has been asserted, quite 
erroneously, that the conception was due to a panel, one of ten, 
by Jacopo della Quercia, that decorate the pilasters of the western 
portal of San Petronio, in Bologna. Burne-Jones afterwards re- 
drew this composition and it appeared as a cartoon, entitled 
" Labour," in " The Daily Chronicle," February nth, 1895. 

At last appeared, seventh in order of publication, the work 
which had long been preparing, " The Golden Legend of Master 
William Caxton, done anew," completed on September 12th, 1892. 
This was the largest and most important work that had hitherto 
been undertaken at the Kelmscott Press. It is of quarto size, in 
three volumes, the pages numbered consecutively to 1286. The 
last thirty-nine pages, after the lives of the Saints, comprise, first, 



Then the white house shall we leave, 
Pass the wind-flowers and the bays, 
Through the garth, and go our ways, 
Wandering down among the meads 
Till our very joyance needs 
Rest at last; till we shall come 
To that Sun-god's lonely home, 
Lonely on the hill-side grey, 
Whence the sheep have gone away; 
Lonely till the feast-time is, 
When with prayer and praise of bliss, 
Thither comes the country side. 



" The Noble Historye of thexposicion of the Masse," and " the 
Twelve articles of our feythe ; " then a list of some obsolete or 
little used words, and, lastly, four pages of " Memoranda, Biblio- 
graphical and Explanatory, concerning the Legenda Aurea of 
Jacobus de Voragine, and some of the translations of it " from 
the pen of Mr. F. S. Ellis, the editor of the Kelmscott edition. 
A note at the end states that " no change from the original " has 
been made in this edition, " except for correction of errors of the 
press, and some few other amendments thought necessary for 
the understanding of the text." It is printed in Mr. Morris's 
Golden type, in black only. Beside the initial letters, borders, 
ornaments, and the title-page in handsome black letter, on a 
background of delicate arabesque outlines, all of which designs 
exhibit Mr. Morris's matured Gothic style of book-decoration, 
there are two woodcuts after Burne-Jones. The first, facing the 
beginning of " The Storye of the Byble," is Adam and Eve stand- 
ing with an Angel within the enclosure of Eden ; the second, 
facing the first of " The Legendes of Sayncles," is the Redeemed 
(whom, by some strange caprice, the artist has chosen to repre- 
sent as of the fair sex alone, save one ambiguous being in the 
right-hand corner) being welcomed by Angels into Paradise. It 
may be mentioned, perhaps, as a singular circumstance, that in 
no part of the book is there any intimation of the authorship of 
these two illustrations. True, the advertisements of the work 
announced the fact ; and, moreover, Burne-Jones's style is suffi- 
ciently familiar to all contemporary connoisseurs to be unmistak- 
able. But is it certain that anyone who comes across a copy of 
this edition, say a hundred years hence, or later still, will know 
by intuition — and that more particularly when at the corners of 
both these illustrations is to be seen none other than the same 
signature W, with which Mr. Morris was wont to identify many 
of his own designs in the publications of the Kelmscott Press? 
For the purpose of achieving the utmost possible accuracy in the 
Kelmscott edition, Morris, on giving his bond for a large sum as 
security, obtained from the syndics of the University Library at 
Cambridge the loan of their valuable copy of the first edition printed 
by Caxton in 1483. The whole of this work was transcribed for 
the Press by the editor's daughter, Mrs. Paine, an immense labour, 
and one that was performed with such care as to reduce the 
number of necessary proof-corrections to a minimum ; while the 
copy for the other Caxton reprints was type-written by Mrs. Peddie, 
at the British Museum. 

The next work, in two volumes quarto, was a reprint of the 
first book printed in English, viz., " The Recuyell of the Historyes 


of Troy," done after the first edition of Caxton. A fairly large 
size of black letter was used for this work for the first time, and 
hence was named by Morris the Troy type. The work is dated 
October 14th, 1892. In the same month was finished Mr. Mackail's 
" Biblia Innocentium ; " and on 22nd of the following month, 
William Morris's " News from Nowhere," printed in black and 
red, with a woodcut frontispiece, drawn by Mr. C. M. Gere, of 
the Birmingham School of Art, being a representation of the 
entrance-front of Kelmscott Manor House. A reprint of Caxton's 
edition (1481) of "The Historye of Reynard the Foxe," printed in 
Troy type, was finished in December, 1892. " The Poems of 
William Shakespeare, printed after the original copies of Venus 
and Adonis, 1593. The Rape of Lucrece, 1594. Sonnets, 1609. 
The Lover's Complaint," edited by Mr. F. S. Ellis, and finished 
on January 17th, 1893, preceded " The Order of Chivalry," trans- 
lated by Caxton, together with " The Ordination of Knighthood," 
finished on February 24th, 1893. This volume, printed in the 
small Gothic called the Chaucer type, is enriched with a wood- 
cut frontispiece designed by Burne-Jones. 

Next in order was George Cavendish's " Life of Cardinal 
Wolsey," transcribed by Mr. Ellis from the autograph manuscript 
of the author, now in the British Museum. The Kelmscott 
edition was finished on March 30th, 1893. It was followed by 
" The history of Godefrey of Boloyne and of the conquest of 
Iherusalem," in folio size, done after Caxton's first edition ; printed 
in Troy type in black and red, and having a decorative title de- 
signed by W. Morris in similar style to the title of " The Golden 

On August 4th, 1893, was finished the reprint, in black and 
red, of Ralph Robinson's English translation from the Latin of 
Sir Thomas More's " Utopia." Of the 300 copies issued, 40 had 
been ordered in advance by an Eton master, with the intention of 
distributing them as prizes among the boys of the college, but 
when the work appeared with a compromisingly Socialistic intro- 
duction by Morris, the order, from motives of prudence, had to be 
cancelled. However, the copies were all disposed of before a year 
was out, so Morris did not suffer any loss. 

In August, 1893, was finished Tennyson's " Maud ; " and on 
September 15th " Sidonia the Sorceress," translated from the 
German of William Meinhold by Lady Wilde. The author was 
" a man so steeped in the history and social life of his country 
during the period " of which he wrote, said Morris, " that he 
might almost be said to have been living in it rather than in his 
own, the early part of the present century. The result of his life 

149 QQ 

And wbyle tbey were besy in fygbtyng, tbey that 
were cm b use bed sbold sodenly brehe and come by 
byndeon tbemandfygbt,andso sbold tbey be en- 
closed bytwene tbem within and them witboute,in 
sucbe wyse that none sbold escape. 

fi€Y t^> at herd tbise lettres & tbyse 
messagers doubted tbem mocbe of 
our peple,wberfor tbey acorded glad- 
ly to this counseyl. Cbey assembled 
tbem of Hallape, tbem of Cezayre, 
tbem of fiaman, and of other cytees 
about, tyl tbey were a grete nombre of peple, and 
this dyae tbey the moost secrctely tbey mygbt, as 
was to tbem commaunded, and began to departe 
and approucbe Hntbyocbe. Hnd cam to a castel 
named Daran t, wbicbe is fro tbens axiiij myle, there 
tbey lodgedjand thought on tbemorne,assoneas 
the scarmucbe sboldbe bytwene the pylgrymsand 



and literary genius was the production of two books : ' The 
Amber Witch,' and ' Sidonia the Sorceress,' both of which, but, in 
my judgment, especially ' Sidonia,' are almost faultless reproduc- 
tions of the life of the past ; not mere antiquarian studies, but 
presentations of events, often tragic, the actors in which are 
really alive, though under conditions so different from those of 
the present day. In short, ' Sidonia ' is a masterpiece of its kind, 
and without a rival of its kind. . . . The present edition of the 
book will answer satisfactorily " the " many questions " which 
the two drawings of Burne-Jones, shown at the exhibition of his 
works in the early part of 1893, caused to be asked. " Lady Wilde's 
translation, which was the one," continues Morris, "through 
which we made acquaintance with Meinhold's genius, is a good, 
simple, and sympathetic one." The Kelmscott edition is in folio, 
with beautiful borders at the beginning of the several books, with 
initials and other ornaments in the margins, but it lacks the 
attraction of an ornamental title-page. The work was certainly 
less of a success than any publication that had preceded it from 
the Kelmscott Press. But a generation that delights in intro- 
spective fiction, spiced with theological debate ; whose popular 
authors are Mrs. Humphry Ward, Sarah Grand, and Marie 
Corelli, could scarcely be expected to find an old-world, objective 
romance of the type of " Sidonia the Sorceress " congenial to its 
taste. No wonder then that the sale was slow. 

A small work, the first in i6mo, " Gothic Architecture," a 
lecture by W. Morris, spoken at the New Gallery for the Arts and 
Crafts Exhibition Society in 1889, was printed at the New Gallery 
in one of the Kelmscott presses, to demonstrate the practical 
method of hand-printing, during the Exhibition of the Society in 
the autumn of 1893. 

" Ballads and Narrative Poems " by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 
with a title in roman letters on an arabesque ground within a 
vine border, was finished in October, 1893 ; and on December 16th, 
the first of a series of translations of French tales of the thirteenth 
century, to wit, " Of King Florus and the Fair Jehane," in black 
letter with decorative title. It may be not uninteresting to record 
that this one was selected by Mr. and Mrs. Tregaskis, the well- 
known antiquarian booksellers, as a typical and appropriate 
volume for the exercise of the binder's craft. For the purpose one 
work only was taken, identity of subject and uniformity of size 
insuring obviously the readiest unit of comparison of different 
modes of binding. A century of copies, more or less, were bought 
up and sent to all parts of the globe, without conditions as to the 
kind of binding, save the general recommendation that each 


binder should 
adopt whatever 
style was most 
characteristic of 
his own locality 
and of the mate- 
rials at his dis- 
posal. In due 
course the copies 
came back again, 
bound in the 
fashion peculiar 
to divers coun- 
tries and peoples, 
and were shown 
at the Interna- 
tional Bookbind- 
ing Exhibition 
held at the Cax- 
ton Head, Hol- 
born, in 1894. 
The seventy-five 
specimens thus 
gathered together 
attracted no little 
attention. They 
were taken by 
Royal command 
to be inspected by 
the Queen at 
Windsor ; and eventually Mrs. Rylands purchased this unique 
collection en bloc, thus saving it from the fate of dispersion. 

The companion volumes to " King Florus " appeared at 
intervals, one being entitled " Of the Friendship of Amis and 
Amile ; " the other " The Tale of the Emperor Constans and of 
Over Sea " — two stories in one volume, with each its own title- 
page. The four completed Mr. Morris's repertory of this par- 
ticular collection of stories. They were reprinted in 1896 by Mr. 
George Allen, in one volume, under the title " Old French 
Romances. Done into English by William Morris, with an intro- 
duction by Joseph Jacobs," who however has not put them in 
Mr. Morris's order, but has made the first and third tales change 
places. From the introduction it appeared that the source 
whence Morris derived the romances was " Nouvelles Francaises 

153 RR 




en in war, and that the Com - 
pan ions who bad conquered ft 
were looking for chapmen to 
cheapen their booty, and that 
be was the first, or nearly the 
first, to come who bad will and 
money to buy, and the Com- 
panions, who were eager to 
depart, bad sold him thieves' 
penny/worths: wherefore bis 
share of the Upmeads treas- 
ure bad gone far; and thence 
he bad gone to another good 
town where be bad the best of 
markets for bis newly cheap- 
ened wares, and bad bought 
more there, such as be deemed 
handy to sell, and so bad gone 
from town to town, and bad 
evertbriven,and bad gotmucb 
wealth: and so at last having 
heard tellof Slbitwalt as bet- 
ter for chaffer than all be bad 
yet seen, be and other chap- 
men badarmed tbem,& waged 
men/at/arms to defend them, 
and so tried the adventure of 
the wildwoods, and come safe 

7F)€T^ at last came the 
[question toRalpbcon/ 
/cerning bis adventur/ 
es, and be enforced himself to 
speak, and told all as truly as 
be might, without telling of 
the Lady and ber woeful end- 
ingjtfFCbus they gave & took 
in talk, and Ralph did what he 
might to seem like other folk, 
that be might nurse bis grief 

in bis own heart as far asunder 
from other men as might be 
JP So they rode on till it was 
even, and came toHIbitwall be/ 
fore the shutting of the gates 
and rode into the street, and 
found it a fair and great town, 
well defensible, with high and 
new walls, and men/at/arms 
good store to garnish them j£F 
Ralph rode with bis brother to 
the hostel of the chapmen, & 
there they were well lodged. 
Chapter XtU. Richard talk - 
ctb with Ralph concerning the 
Slellat the World's end.Con/ 
cemingS >cvcnbam / 4* / 4£ 

~\fl the morrow 
Blaise went to 
his chaffer and 
to visit the men 
of the port at 

thcGuildhalu be 

bade Ralph come with him, but 
be would not, but abode in the 
ballof the hostel and sat pon/ 
dering sadly while men came 
and went; but be beard no 
word spoken of the Cdell at 
the World's 6nd. tn like wise 
passed the next day and the 
next, save that Richard was a- 
mong those who came into the 
ball, and be talked long with 
Ralph at whiles ; that is to say 
that be spake, & Ralph made 
semblance of listening. 

Od as is aforesaid Ri/ 
chard was old & wise, 
& be loved Ralph much 


en prose du XIIP me Siecle," by MM. L. Moland, and C. D'Heri- 
cault, published in Paris in 1856, and that they could be traced 
back to a remote origin in old Byzantium. 

On February 20th, 1894, was finished a companion volume to 
the " Ballads and Narrative Poems " of Rossetti, viz., his " Sonnets 
and Lyrical Poems," with a similar title-page, only that in the 
latter case the border was darker and more solid than in the first. 
"The Poems of John Keats," with ornamental title, was finished 
in March, 1894; anc * m May a folio edition of "Atalanta in 
Calydon, a Tragedy made by Algernon Charles Swinburne," with 
an ornamental title. The Greek characters used in the opening 
verses are those designed for Messrs. Macmillan and Co. by 
Mr. Selwyn Image. They are uncials only. For Sigma the 
most antique form C is adopted. There are not any accents nor 
aspirates. Thus it is a little puzzling at first, when, for example, 
the word te or ae is elided, to see the Tau or Delta standing by 
itself without the usual mark of elision. But the general effect 
of the page is wonderfully beautiful. It would have been of 
course in the highest degree incongruous in this sumptuous 
volume to have employed the ugly modern type of Greek used in 
school books and in Hellenic newspapers of the present day. 

On May 30th, 1894, was finished the printing of a new romance 
of Morris's, called " The Wood beyond the World," in his Gothic 
type in black and red, with a woodcut frontispiece designed by 
Burne-Jones. This work having been pirated in America, Morris 
brought out a cheaper edition, published by Messrs. Lawrence 
and Bullen, in 1895. 

On Michaelmas Day was finished " The Book of Wisdom and 
Lies," a collection, made in the eighteenth century, of Georgian 
traditional stories, translated into English, with notes by Oliver 
Wardrop. In the decorated title of this work, in roman characters 
in white upon a black ground, with a vine border, is introduced an 
escutcheon with the arms of Georgia, in Asia. This is noteworthy 
as being the sole instance of a heraldic device among the published 
designs of William Morris. Indeed, it is a very remarkable fact 
that, with the strong predilection he had for mediaeval ornament, 
one of its most familiar elements should, nevertheless, be almost 
entirely absent from his decorative work. It is further to be 
observed that, having chosen to make use of a shield in his com- 
position, he should have taken, not the immature spade-form, like 
an early English arch inverted, technically called Roman or 
Heater shape, maintained by heralds to be the most correct, but 
the fifteenth century elaborate, decorative, engrailed shape, a 
douche, i.e. hollowed out in the dexter chief to make a lance-rest. 


In November, 1894, was printed a rhymed version of the 
Penitential Psalms, found in a manuscript of the Hours of our 
Lady, written at Gloucester about the year 1440. This work, 
transcribed and edited by Mr. Ellis, with the title " Psalmi Peni- 
tentiales," had been advertised, in the previous April, as " A 
Fifteenth Century English Hymn Book, being a paraphrase in 
verse of the Seven Penitential Psalms, written in Gloucester 
about A.D. 1420." About the same time was finished a letter in 
Italian, by Savonarola, on the Contempt of the World, printed 
for Mr. Fairfax Murray, the owner of the autograph letter, and 
the designer of the frontispiece. 

Next followed, at intervals, in three volumes, " The Poems of 
Percy Bysshe Shelley," with a title to the first volume. 

On January 10th, 1895, was finished " The Tale of Beowulf, 
sometime King of the folk of the Weder Geats," done out of the 
old English tongue by William Morris and A. J. Wyatt, in folio size, 
with an ornamental title-page of Gothic lettering, on arabesques, 
within a beautiful border. It may be mentioned, by the way, that 
Morris thought very highly of this work. Indeed, he considered 
it the finest poem surviving in the English language. Its lyrical 
qualities, in his opinion, are admirable, although the epical qualities 
of the poem in the present fragmentary state in which it has come 
down to us are impaired ; and the whole would be less obscure if 
all the stories to which references are made in the course of the 
work were extant. 

On February 16th, 1895, was finished the reprint of " Syr 
Percyvelle of Gales," after the edition printed by J. O. Halliwell, 
from the MS. in the Library of Lincoln Cathedral. The Kelmscott 
edition of this poem is printed in black and red, in the Chaucer 
type, with a woodcut frontispiece, designed by Burne-Jones. 
Morris's " Life and Death of Jason " was reprinted on May 25th, 
1895, with two woodcuts after Burne-Jones, and in July another 
work by Morris — in prose this, and published now for the first 
time — a romance, in two i6mo volumes, with decorative title, 
named, " Of Child Christopher and Fair Goldilind." 

On October 25th, 1895, was finished at the Kelmscott Press, 
for Messrs. Way and Williams, of Chicago, Rossetti's " Hand and 
Soul," a reprint, in small size, from " The Germ," with a roman- 
letter title on light arabesque ground with an ornamental border. 

On November 21st, was finished " Poems Chosen out of the 
Works of Robert Herrick," with ornamental title, and edited from 
the text of the edition put forth by the author in 1648. A uniform 
edition of " Christabel and other Poems of Samuel Taylor Cole- 
ridge," was issued also from the Kelmscott Press. 

157 ss 

On March 2nd, 
1896, was finished 
a new romance of 
Morris's, entitled 
"The Well at the 
World's End," with 
four woodcuts de- 
signed by Sir Ed- 
ward Burne-Jones. 
The work is printed 
is the first to exhibit 
a new feature in 
Kelmscott books, 
viz., double columns 
with ornament be- 
tween them. More- 
over, the opening 
words, instead of 
the initials only, at 
the heading of the 
several divisions of 
the work are treated 
in an ornamental 
design. This latter 
feature appears 
again in the Kelm- 
scott edition of 
Chaucer, which 
work, in folio size, in black 
begun in August, 1894, an d 




and red, with double columns, was 
finished in May, 1896, one press at 
first, and subsequently two, being employed to produce it. This 
large volume is altogether the most elaborate and most im- 
portant that Morris issued from his Press. It contains eighty- 
six pictures (the number of which was estimated originally at 
about sixty), designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, and engraved 
on wood by Mr. W. H. Hooper. The title-page is from Mr. Morris's 
own design, the drawing of which occupied him a fortnight. It 
is worded : " the works of Geoffrey Chaucer now newly im- 
printed," in large Gothic lower-case letters, shown up strongly in 
white against a black background, broken by delicate white floral 
ornament. The initials G and C are, however, of a fantastic form, 
so out of harmony with the rest of the lettering that it is difficult 
to conceive how the designer himself was satisfied with the effect 


of this page. The word " Kelmscott," in beautiful Gothic letters, 
is introduced in the ornament of the last page in a different manner 
from any previous work of the Press ; being enclosed within 
the border, whereas in the other books the printer's mark forms, 
as it were, a detached colophon at the end of everything. The 
work is further enriched with magnificent borders of Morris's 
design. He also made fourteen designs forming a sort of inner 
framework to the picture illustrations. It has been declared by 
some critics that Mr. Morris went to great trouble to make each 
of his ornamental borders in perfect harmony with the subject 
matter of the page. At any rate, in the Chaucer this is con- 
spicuously not the case. Thus, in the very first page of the 
Prologue to " The Canterbury Tales," which open with lines 
descriptive of April, we find a border of vines and ripe grapes. 
Another designer belike would have been solicitous to fashion a 
seasonable device out of catkins or primroses. But not so Morris ; 
whatever occurred most spontaneously to the artist's hand to 
design at the moment, that he did. For in him the decorative 
instinct was so paramount that he could not be hampered with 
the restriction of observing times and seasons and symbolic 
significations; nor had he a mind for anything else save alone 
the aesthetic effect of the page. So entirely, indeed, did this one 
countervail — nay, override — every other consideration, that some- 
times reasonable claims even were disregarded for the sake of it, 
e.g. in the opening page of " Poems by the Way," of "Jason," or of 
Tennyson's " Maud," in the Kelmscott editions. For it must be 
owned, as a critic in " The Edinburgh Review " has pointed out, 
that the practice " of printing poetry in continuous lines, as if it were 
prose, instead of in verses, in order to fill up the page in a more 
decorative manner ... is putting the make-up of the page before 
the matter," and is undeniably confusing to the reader. " Poetry 
is literary expression in verse," and one feels inclined to challenge 
the right of the printer to transform it into "the semblance of 
prose." This objection applies in a degree to Morris's master- 
piece, the Kelmscott Chaucer. But "when criticism has done 
its best," says "The Printing Times and Lithographer," "the 
work is an admitted marvel. To have produced this book were, 
of itself, enough for fame." It is, indeed, a monument. It has 
been described by different writers as "the noblest book ever 
printed;" "the finest book ever issued;" and " the greatest triumph 
of English typography." In short, William Morris may be regarded 
as "the Caxton of our day, who, with a fine confidence unshaken 
by the grave pecuniary risks, carried the manufacture of books 
back to its original condition of one of the fine arts. Price was 


not to signify — the book was to be made ... as beautiful in print, 
in paper, in binding, as it could be made." 

As a supplement to the Chaucer was finished on August 21st, 
1896, " The Flowre and the Leafe and the Boke of Cupide, God 
of Love, or the Cuckow and the Nightingale," it having been 
determined by competent scholars that these poems, generally 
attributed to Chaucer, are not really his work. Rev. Professor 
Skeat, indeed, has gone so far as to produce what looks like con- 
clusive evidence that their real author is Sir Thomas Clanvowe. 

On May 7th, 1896, was finished the first volume of a re-issue, 
to be completed in eight volumes, of " The Earthly Paradise," 
with a title-page, new borders (occurring at the beginning of 
each story), and special marginal ornaments to the poems of the 
months. This work, advertised to appear one volume at a time, 
at intervals of about three months, was still in progress at the 
time of Morris's death, the first volume having been published in 
July, 1896. 

On July 7th, 1896, was finished " Laudes Beatae Mariae Vir- 
ginis," Latin poems taken from a Psalter written in England 
about A. D. 1220. This is remarkable as the first Kelmscott Press 
book printed in three colours, black, red and blue — the latter 
colour being a new experiment of Morris's. Rev. E. S. Dewick 
has pointed out the interesting fact " that these poems were 
printed in 1579, in a i6mo volume, with the title Psalterium 
Divae Virginis Mariae, &c. . . . This Tergensee edition contains a 
Conclusio of four verses in the same metre as the Aves, but the 
text is otherwise inferior to that printed by William Morris. The 
ascription of the authorship to Stephen Langton is doubly interest- 
ing, as the manuscript transcribed for the Kelmscott Press was 
probably written before his death in 1228." 

On October 14th, 1896, was finished Spenser's "The Shep- 
heardes Calender : conteyning twelve ^glogues proportionable 
to the twelve monethes." In Golden type, with ornamental 
initials but no borders, this edition is embellished with twelve 
full-page designs by Mr. A. J. Gaskin of the Birmingham School. 
Some, if not all, of these illustrations are zinco-process reproduc- 
tions. The preliminary announcement of this work mentioned 
the names both of the author of the poem and also of the artist 
who drew the pictures, but — unaccountable omission — the book, 
as published, contains no intimation of either. Those who know 
will, without difficulty, recognize the initials A.J. G. in the corner 
of each illustration, but for posterity there is no record. 

Within less than a week of the death of its illustrious founder, 
that the Kelmscott Press was about to close was bruited abroad. 



l6l T T 


Butatte laste of Tarquiny she hem tolcte, 
This rcwf ill cas, and al this thing horrible. 
The wo to tellen hit were impossible, 
That she and alle her frendes made atones. 
HI badde folkes hertes been of stones, 
f)Ct mighte have malted hem upon her rewe, 
FJer herte was so wyfly and so trewe. 
She seide, that, for her gilt ne for her blame, 
Ber husbond sbolde nat have the f oule name, 
That wolde she nat suffre, by no wey. 
Hnd they answerden alle, upon hir fey, 
That they foryeve bit her, for bit was right; 
fii t was no gilt, hit lay nat in her might ; 
Hnd seiden her ensamples many oon. 
But al f or noght; for thus she seide anoon: 
Be as be may, quod she, of forgiving, 
X wol nat have no f orgift for nothing. 
j^ But prively she caughte forth a knyf , 
Hnd tberwitbal she raf te herself her lyf ; 
Hnd as she f el adoun, she caste her look, 
Hnd of her clothes yit she hede took ; 
for in her falling yit she hadde care 
Lest that her feet or swiche thing lay bare ; 
So wel she loved clennesse and eek trou the. 
J&Qf her had al the toun of Rome routbe, 

Hnd Brutus by her chaste blode bath swore 
That Tarquin sbolde ybanisbt be tberfore, 
Hnd al his kin ; and let the pepte calle, 
Hnd openly the tale be tolde hem alle, 
Hnd openly let carie her on a here 
Through al the toun, that men may see & here | 
The horrible deed of her oppressioun. 
fte never was tber king in Rome toun 
Sin thilke day ; and she was bolden there 
H scint, and ever her day yhalwed dere 
Hs in hir lawe : and thus endeth Lucresse, 
The no ble wy f , as Titus bereth witnesse. 
SpgiTeLL bit, for she was of love so trewe, I 
|3Ka J^e in ber wille she cbaungedfornoneweJ 
k^sslHnd for the stable berte, sad and kinde, f 

That in these women men may alday finde ; 
Tber as they caste hir herte, tber hit dwelleth. 
for wel I wot, that Crist himselve telletb, 
That in Israel, as wyd as is the lond, 
That so gret f eitb in al the lond be ne fond 
Hs in a woman ; and this is no lye. 
Hnd as of men, loketb which tirannye 
They doon alday ; assay hem who so tiste. 
The trewest is f ul brotel for to triste. 
explicit Legenda Jvucrecie Rome martins. 

i^ci9izLeGe^DEHORm^eveEzr>e^es^8S£ff^s£ffS8SEf h 

uee iw €rt*hl, jvunos, 



Nora cojMesToai of Tf>e 

BCIT f OR TO CL€pe H- 

eeij* ajrco mcmoric 


of Tne neveiM hbovc 
Bei^r aiROTRe, hn*> 
eiRecne bhjm thks f or 


Be ReeD f or SRHjviei 

NO«u try vtf&e- 


iXNOS, that was the mighty king of 


1 That badde an hundred citees 
stronge and grete, 

To scole hath sent his sone Hndrogeus, 
To Htbenes ; of the whiche hit happed thus. 
That be was slayn, leming philosophye, 
Right in that citee, nat but for envy e. 
Ka^Mfie grete M»nos,of the wbicbe X speke, 
ffl|^B«8 sones deetbis comen for towreke; 
sslsj Hlcathoe be bisegeth barde and longe. 
But natheles the walles be so stronge, 
Hnd fttsus, that was king of that citee, 
So chivalrous, that litel dredeth he; 
Of Minos or bis ost took he no cure, 

Til on a day befet an aventure, 
That JVisus doghter stood upon the wat, 
Hnd of the segesaw the man er at. 
So happed bit, that, at a scarmishing, 
She caste her herte upon Minos the king, 
for his beautee and for his chivalrye, 
So sore, that she wende for to dye. 
Hnd, shortly of this proces for to pace, 
She made M>nos winnen thilke place, 
So that the citee was al at his wille, 
To saven whom him list, or elles spille ; 
Butwikkedly hequitte her kindenesse, 
Hnd let her drencbe in sorowe and distresse 
J*Jere that the goddes badde of her pite ; 
But that tale were to longas now for me. 

^Tfter* eS wan this king Minos also, 
, Hnd Hlcathoe and other toun es mo ; 
r Hnd this tbefFect,tbafM»nos hath so 

Bern of Htbenes, that they mote him yiven 
fro yere to yere her owne children dere 
for t o be slayn, as ye sbul after here. 
JippfHS Minos bath a monstre, a wikked 
|fp| beste, 

uMm That was so cruel that, without areste, 
HI ban that a man was brogbt in his presence, 
Be wolde him etc, ther belpeth no defence. 
Hnd every thridde yeer, witbouten dou te, 
They casten lot,and,as hit com aboute 
On ricbe, on pore, he moste his sone take, 
Hnd of his child he moste present make 
Unto M^nos, to save him or to spille, 
Or lete his beste devoure him at his wille. 
Hnd this bath Minos don, right in despyt; 
To wreke bis sone was set al bis delyt, 


neeRe BiGYwecn cne jsrowes pReesces zelg of 
\zns cok and newcfiflajrcecLeeR hjntc> peRxreLotre^ 

Curteys she was, discreet, and debonaire, 
Hnd compaignable,and bar byrself so faire, 
Syn tbilke day that she was seven nygbt oold, 
"Chat trewely she bath the berte in hoold 
Of Cbauntecleer loken in every titb ; 
Re loved hire so, that wel was bym tberoitb. 
But swicbe a joye was it to here bem synge, 
CQhan that the brighte sonne gan to sprynge, 
In sweete accord, jviy lief is f aren in londc Jf 
for tbilke tyme, as I have understonde, 
Beestes and briddes koudc speke and synge. 
8§|jglW so bif el, that in the dawenynge, 
sSpjIfc Hs Cbauntecleer among bis wy vea aUe 
WMR Sat on bis percbe, tbat was in the balle, 
Hnd next bym sat this faire pertelote, 
Cbis Cbauntecleer gan gronen in bis tbrote, 
Hs man tbat in bis dreem is drecched soore. 
Hnd wban tbat pertelote thus berde bym 

She was agast, and seyde, O berte deer e f 
Glbat eyletb yow, to grone in this manere ? 
\t been a verray sleper ; fy, for shame I 
jPHnd be answerdeand seyde tbus : Madame, 
I pray yow tbat ye tahe it not agrief ; 
By God, me tbougbtelwas in swich mescbief 
Right now, tbat yet myn berte is sooreafright. 
J^ow God, quod be, my swevene reccbe aright, 
Hnd hepe my body out of foul prisoun. 
JVfe m ettc, how that I roomed up and doun 
dithinne our yeerd, wheeras I saugh abeest 
Slas lyk an hound, and wolde ban maad areest 
Clpon my body, and wolde ban bad me deed. 
Ris colour was bitwixe yelow and reed ; 
Hnd tipped was his tayl,and botbe his eeris, 
HIitb blah, unlyh the rem en an t of his beer is ; 
Ris snowte smal, with glowynge eyen tweyc. 
"Yet of bis looh for feerealmoostt deye,* 
■Cbis caused me my gronyng, doutelees. 
^Hvoy t quod she, fy on yow, bertcleesf 
Hllas f quod she, for by that God above f 

fow ban ye lost myn berte and al my love, 
kan nat love a coward, by my f eitb f 
for certes, whatso any womman seith, 
3Qe alle desiren, if it myghte bee, 
■Co han housbondes hardy, wise, and free, 
Hnd secree, and no nygard, ne no fool, 
T*e bym tbat is agast of every tool, 
fie noon avaun tour, by tbat God above 1 
Row dorste ye seyn,for shame, unto your love 
Chat any tbyng myghte make yow af erd ? 
Rave ye no mannes berte, and ban a berd ? 
Hllas f and konne ye been agast of swevenys? 
]Notbyng, God woot, but vanitee, in swevene is. 
Swevenes engendren of replecdouns, 
Hnd of te of f ume,and of complecciouns 
CQban humours been to habundant in a wight. 
^^^CR^eS this dreem, which ye ban met 
H^HB tonygbt, 

POVRC wydwe,som- 
Staswbilom dwellyng 
in a narwe cotage, 
Beside a greve, stond- 
Cbis wydwe, of which X 
telle yow my tale, 
Syn tbilke day that she 

In pacience (adde a f ul symple lyf , 

for litel was hir catel and bir rente. 

By bousbondrie, of swicb as God hire sente, 

She foond hirself , and eek hire doghtren two. 

Cbre large sowes hadde she, and namo; 

'Chree keen, and eek a sheep that highteJMalle. 

f ul sooty was bir bour, and eek hire balle, 

In which she eet f ul many a sklendre meel; 

Of poynaunt sauce hir neded never a deeL 

T^o deyntee morsel passed tburgb bir tbrote ; 

Rir diete was accordant to bir cote. 

Repleccioun ne made hire nevere sik, 

Httempree diete was al hir phisik, 

Hnd exercise, and bertes suffisaunce. 

•Cbe goute lette hire notbyng for to daunce, 

ffapoplexie ne sbente nat hir heed ; 

]*Jo wyn ne drank she, neither whit ne reed ; 

Rir bord was served moos t with whit and 


Milk & broun breed, in which she foond no lah, 

Seynd bacoun, and somtyme an ey or tweyc, 

for she was, as it were, a man er deye. 

Y66RD she hadde, enclosed ataboute 
Cditb stikkes, and a dry e dycb withoute, 
In which she hadde a coh, beet Cbaun te- 


In al the land of crowyng nas his peer. 

Ris voys was murier than the murie orgon 

On messe'dayes tbat in the cbircbe gon ; 

del sikerer was his crowyng in bis togge, 

TTban is a clokke, or an abbey orlogge. 

By nature be knew eche ascencioun 

Of thequynoxial in tbilke toun ; 

for wban degrees fif ten e were ascended, 

TTbanne crewe be, tbat it myghte nat been 


Ris coomb was redder than the fyn coral, 

Hnd ba tail led, as it were a castel wal ; 

Ris byle was blak, and as the jeet it shoon ; 

ky k asure were his legges, and his toon ; 

Ris nayles whiter than the lylye flour, 

Hnd lyk the burned gold was his colour. 

RppRIS gen til cok hadde in his govemaunce 

t&iH Seven e bennes, for to doon al his 


SIbicb were his sustres and his paramours, 

Hnd wonder lyk to bym, as of colours ; 

Of wbicbe the f aireste hewed on bir tbrote 

<Das cleped faire damoysele pertelote. 


Cometh of the grete superfluytee 

The statement, once having found its way into print, was copied, 
with variations and added details more or less inaccurate, by one 
newspaper after another, and was for some weeks allowed to 
circulate unchallenged. Those of the public who were sympa- 
thetic awaited — some of them with almost breathless anxiety — an 
authoritative confirmation of the report, dreading, and yet unwill- 
ing to believe, that the days of the Kelmscott Press were inevit- 
ably numbered after all. But at last an official notification from 
headquarters, coupled with an order form for " The Shepheardes 
Calender," in which notice, dated November 12th, 1896, some few 
works already advertised were announced as shortly to be issued, 
others as abandoned, seemed to set aside all uncertainty as to the 
approaching end of the Press ; and an article to that effect 
appeared in " The Academy " of December 12th. Then, and not 
till then, was it elicited, in the shape of a letter addressed to " The 
Academy " by the late Mr. Morris's secretary, that the future of 
the Kelmscott Press was still under consideration on the part of 
the trustees. However, the greatest loss, and one which book- 
lovers must never cease to regret is the definite abandonment of 
the folio editions of Froissart and of " Sigurd the Volsung." On 
the latter, as the one of which its author was most proud among 
all his poetical works, he had intended to lavish the choicest de- 
coration. However, not much progress had been made with it. 
It was to have been embellished with forty woodcuts designed 
by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, in addition to new borders and other 
ornaments by Mr. Morris himself. The first announcement of 
this work had been made in November, 1895, when the number of 
woodcuts proposed was set down at about five-and-twenty. A 
later circular, dated February 16th, 1897, announced a small folio 
edition of this work, with two woodcuts only, designed by Burne- 
Jones. For " The Cronycles of Syr John Froissart " Mr. Morris 
had elected to reprint Lord Berners's translation from Pynson's 
edition of 1523 and 1525. This work had been advertised as in 
preparation in August, 1893, and as in the press in April, 1894 — 
although, in subsequent notices, it is true, it was referred to only 
as in preparation. The fact of its having reached, by the time of 
Mr. Morris's death, a fairly advanced stage, makes its withdrawal 
all the more to be deplored. It was to have appeared in two 
volumes, with double columns and ornaments, the latter designed 
by Morris in a manner that recalls fourteenth century illumina- 
tions. The borders included shields with the armorial bearings 
of the various personages named in the course of the chronicle. 
The tinctures were to be in plain black and white, according to 
the most ancient system of representation. For it would have 

165 u u 

been an obvious ana- 
chronism to indicate 
them by dots and 
lines, hatchings, and 
so on, as our modern 
practice is to do, 
which cannot be 
traced back farther 
than the first quarter 
of the seventeenth 

The latest circu- 
kelmscott press mark. lar announces as 

nearly ready the Kelmscott edition of " Sire Degravaunt," an 
ancient English metrical romance from the Thornton MS. at 
Lincoln, with a woodcut designed by Burne-Jones. The prepara- 
tion of this work, which is uniform with the " Syr Percyvelle," from 
first to last has spread over a considerable time. " Sire Isumbras," 
uniform with the above and from the same source, will follow. 
A romance of Mr. Morris's, " The Water of the Wondrous Isles," 
uniform with " The Well at the World's End," is in the press ; and 
a still more recent one, in fact, the last he ever wrote, viz., " The 
Sundering Flood," is in preparation. This work, according to 
Mr. Theodore Watts-Dunton, " will be found to be finer than any 
hitherto published." It is of about the same length as " The Wood 
beyond the World," but unlike that work has lyrics interspersed. 
Among the other works which have at various times been 
announced as in contemplation or in preparation at the Kelmscott 
Press, although they have not made their appearance, may be 
named a collection of Poems by Mr. Theodore Watts-Dunton; 
" The Tragedies, Histories and Comedies of William Shake- 
speare," in three folio volumes, a reprint, edited by F.J. Furnival, 
from the first complete edition in folio ; and "Vitas Patrum," being 
St. Jerome's Lives of the Fathers of the Desert, translated into 
English by William Caxton during the last years of his life, and 
printed at Wynkyn de Worde's press in 1495. This work, which 
has never hitherto been reprinted, was to have formed two large 
4to volumes, uniform with the " Golden Legend." It is impossible 
to say what other books Morris might have produced had not death 
interrupted his work ; but it isbelieved that he had some intention of 
reprintingacollection of old English Ballads, " Gesta Romanorum " 
and Malory's " Morte d'Arthur." There was also in preparation " A 
Catalogue of the Collection of Woodcut Books, Early Printed Books 
and Manuscripts at Kelmscott House, with Notes by William 


Morris," and upwards of 50 illustrations, being reproductions 
selected from the typical works in Mr. Morris's library. This 
work should have been especially remarkable, for his expert know- 
ledge and discrimination had enabled him, during the few years 
he had been practically interested with printing, to gather 
together a library in artistic, if not in pecuniary value, second to 
no private collection in the land. He did not seek for rare speci- 
mens but for beautiful ; and, having obtained, he treated them 
with loving, and something near akin to reverential, care ; and, 
as they had been the constant companions amongst which the 
later years of his life were spent, so, on October 3rd, 1896, he 
passed away, surrounded by books to the last. 



Cartoon for decorative Painting, from the orig.nal 

in the possession of Mr. C. Fairfax Murray. 



Ic/iijjho aril ra "loosb iol nooMsO 

.^STIuM .1MI0 noisaaaeoq sdl ni 

.33JIT aaTWiAqc 


Daisy Pattern. 



The Daisy Design. 

■ .. ■ 



The Trellis Design (the Birds designed by 

Philip Webb). 



The Vine Design. 



The Marigold Design. 


The Acanthus Design. 



.ngiaaCt eudsnr.oA srfT 


The Apple Design. 

.HS-'-I ■■..■. 
.ngissQ MqqA sriT 



Specially designed for St. James's Palace. 



Specially designed for St. James's Palace. 






The Wild Tulip Design. 

] JAW 
.tr%iaaa qilol . 


The Bruges Design. 




The Pink and Rose Design. 





The Bird and Anemone, and 

The Strawberry Thief Designs. 


.'{ 91IT 
2 atiT 



The Honeysuckle Design. 



I 9fiT 



The Wandle Design. 

.II vx 

■ ■ 



The Wey Design. 



.wagTavjav aaTninq 

.. i ; ■ 



The Cherwell Design. 


.j.av aarwifis: 



.auaaiT a ■ htiw aHoo«a Tavjsv 

The St. James' Design. 



■ • ; 

The Cross-twigs Design. 


.ngiaaQ esiwJ-eaoiO srfT 



The Tulip and Rose Design. 




The Anemone Design. 


•saiAT joow wavow 

... [390 JJ / ' ; 



The Peacock and Dragon Design. 


- " . a : •■:■..-.. 



The Dove and Rose Design. 





The Lily Design. 


.T3qflA0 HaTawiMHaacnx 




Small Barr Pattern. 






The Little Flowers Pattern. 






Buller's Wood Pattern. 



■■ i .oWs'-isIioa 



The Black Tree Pattern. 


r.l3 atiT 





The Little Tree Pattern. 







The Redcar Pattern. 





The Orchard. 

.YHTaaiAT 3AJ 

.b-iEtfaiO eiriT 

W. Griggt, Collatypsr, Peekb 



The Woodpecker. 





Executed in coloured silks upon yellow linen. 

.nanil vtollz- ■ bsiuolos m 




Mr. C. Fairfax Murray's Sketch Book. 

aaqMATs a.ioo m owiawii 


.iooS. dotn-AZ 8''{fiTi; : ; 



IN the bibliography which follows, I have included not only 
all the writings of William Morris which were published 
separately in book and pamphlet forms, but broadsides, articles 
in magazines, and letters to the newspapers. In addition to these 
there will be found complete descriptions and collations of the 
books issued from the Kelmscott Press, as well as essays and 
articles about William Morris by other writers. Where I could, 
I have included the best reviews and obituary notices, giving in 
all cases the names and dates of the journals and magazines in 
which these appeared. 

The task has not been an easy one, and would have been but 
imperfectly performed without the assistance of others. For such 
help I have especially to thank Mr. Alfred Forman, who in read- 
ing the proof-sheets has had the inestimable advantage of referring 
to Mr. H. Buxton Forman's unsurpassed collection of Morris- 
books and pamphlets. Mr. F. S. Ellis has supplied me with a few 
bibliographical details. 

To Mr. Frederick H. Evans I am also indebted for suggestions 
and help. Finally, my thanks are due to Mr. Aymer Vallance 
and to Mr. Gleeson White. 




Sir Galahad a Christmas Mystery. By 
William Morris. 

London: Bell and Daldy, 186, Fleet 
Street. 1858. 

Sm. 8vo. sewed. Half-title, one leaf; title, one 
leaf; 7 leaves of text and one blank leaf. 
The half-title and the blank leaf at the end form 
a wrapper to this booklet. The last two leaves 
are pasted on, forming what might be called an 
" out-set." 

The pagination is through, to p. 18. 
The only copy I have ever seen is that from 
which the above description and collation were 
obtained. There is also an unauthorized fac- 
simile reprint, which differs from the genuine 
work in several very small printers' errors. 

The Defence of Guenevere and other 
Poems. By William Morris. 
London : Bell and Daldy, 186, Fleet 
Street. 1858. 

Sm. 8vo. Half-title, title, dedication, and con- 
tents, 4 leaves (small slip of "Errata" pasted 
after contents on verso of its leaf;; B — R 4 in 

In 1875 Ellis and White issued 25 copies on 
large paper. 

The volume was reprinted by Mr. Morris at the 
Kelmscott Press in 1892. See Kelmscott Press 
Pubs. Bibl. In 1875 Roberts of Boston, U.S.A., 
issued an edition in cr. 8vo. at 2 dollars. 

The Life and Death of Jason a Poem 
by William Morris 

London ; Bell and Daldy, York Street, 
Covent Garden. 1867. 

Sm. 8vo. Half-title, title, 2 leaves. B — AA in 
eights (last two leaves consist of advts. and 
blanks). On back of title should be pasted a 
small list of " errata." 

Of the i86g edition (printed by Ellis and White 
from the stereotyped plates) there was a small 
issue on large or thick Whatman paper; and of 
the eighth (revised) edition (1882) there were 25 
copies printed on large paper also. Roberts of 
Boston, U.S.A., published an edition in 1867 in 
i6mo. ; but in 1885 Clarke and Maynard of New 
York issued one in wrappers for 12 cts. 
Reprinted by Mr. Morris at the Kelmscott Press 
in 1895. See Bibliography of Kelmscott Press 

Life and Death of Jason. By William 
Morris. Prepared, and Printed, solely 
for the Use of Pupils of Irvine Academy. 
Irvine : Times Office, John S. Begg, 

Sm. 8vo. pp. 58 (incl. title) and one blank leaf. 

The Earthly Paradise A Poem [Wood- 
cut.] By William Morris, Author of 
The Life and Death of Jason. 

Ellis, 33 King Street, 

London: F. S. 
Covent Garden. 

rights reserved.] 

[This is the general title to the book. There is 
a second title, printed on toned paper, which has 
below the author's name the words "Parts I. 
and II." and the date is "MDCCCLXX." 
Vol. II. has "Part III.," and the date is also 
" MDCCCLXX." Vol. III. has " Part IV.," and 
the date is also " MDCCCLXX."] 
Sm. 8vo. Vol. I. : one blank leaf; half-title, 
general title, and title to Parts I. and II., 
3 leaves; dedication and contents, 2 leaves; 
B — XX 2 in eights, and one leaf containing a re- 
production of the woodcut on the title-page, on 
recto. This block, designed by E. Burne-Jones, 
was engraved by W. Morris for the first edition. 
It was re-engraved by G. Campfield for the later 

Vol. II. : half-title, title, and contents, 3 leaves ; 
B — LL in eights, last leaf containing a repro- 
duction of woodcut on the title-page, on recto. 
Vol. III. : half-title, title, and contents, 3 leaves ; 
B — FF 6 in eights, last leaf containing on recto 
a reproduction of the woodcut on the title-page. 
Vol. I. is printed on a thin white paper; Vols. 
II. and III. on a thickish toned antique laid 

There was also an edition on large paper of 25 

Some copies (probably 500) of the first edition of 
the first part contain cancel leaves — notably 
PP- 75" 6 - On p. 75, 1. 20, was a ludicrous mis- 
print of " my " for " thy." 

The poem is now being issued in eight vols, 
from the Kelmscott Press. See Kelmscott 
Press Pubs. Bibl. 

Roberts of Boston, U.S.A., issued in 1868-71 an 
edition in i6mo., 3 vols., another in cr. 8vo., 3 
vols., and a Popular Ed. (later) in i6mo. In 1877 
he reissued the first two editions. In 1870 
Roberts of Boston published separately as a 
i6mo. volume the " Lovers of Gudrun." 
Messrs. Reeves and Turner, when they took over 
the publication of Mr. Morris's books, issued a 
"library edition" in 4 vols. 8vo., and later a 
" popular edition " in 10 parts sm. cr. 8vo. 

The Earthly Paradise A Poem, by 

William Morris. 

London Reeves and Turner 196 Strand 


8vo. One leaf advt. ; half-title, title, dedication, 
contents, 4 leaves; A — 2 E in eights (last leaf 
blank). Bound in cloth, with a design by W. 

Love is Enough or The Freeing of 

Pharamond a Morality. By William 


London : Ellis & White, 29 New Bond 

Street. 1873. 

Sq. sm. 8vo. (floral design by W. Morris in gold 
on cloth, cover.) One blank leaf; half-title and 


title, 2 leaves; "Dramatis Personae," one leaf; 
B — K 4 in eights (last leaf consists of advts.). 
Twenty-five copies were also published on 
large paper. 

Roberts of Boston, U.S.A., issued in 1872 two 
editions, one in i6mo., the other in cr. 8vo. 

The Two Sides of the River Hapless 
Love and The First Foray of Aristo- 
menes. By William Morris. 
London 1876 [Not for Sale.'] 

Sm. 8vo. 24 pp. (including half-title, title, and 
one blank leaf at end); bound in green paper 
wrapper with half-title in printer's rules frame. 
Without printer's name. Of these three poems 
the first was reprinted in the volume, " Poems 
by the Way " in 1891. 

The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and 
the Fall of the Niblungs. By William 
Morris, Author of * The Earthly Para- 

London : Ellis and White, New Bond 

Sq. cr. 8vo. Half-title, title, and contents, 4 
leaves ; B — CC 4 in eights. 

Of the original edition there was a large paper 
issue of 25 copies. 

Mr. Morris had arranged for an edition of this 
poem to be printed at the Kelmscott Press. See 
Kelmscott Press Pubs. Bibl. 

Of the fourth edition published by Reeves and 
Turner there was also a large paper issue of 50 

In 1876 Roberts of Boston, U.S.A., issued an 
edition uniform with the English edition — re- 
printed in 1879. 

" Wake London Lads " 

Air " The Hardy Norseman's Home 

of Yore " 

Five stanzas of eight lines each, signed William 
Morris, printed on a broadside for distribution 
at an Exeter Hall meeting, January 16th, 1878. 

Socialists at Play. By William Morris. 
Prologue spoken at the Entertainment 
of the Socialist League : South Place 
Institute, June 11, 18S5. 

Sm. 8vo. 8 pp. (half-title, title, and text), in red 
paper cover. Originally appeared in the " Com- 

Democratic Federation. 

Chants for Socialists : No. 1. The Day 

is Coming. By William Morris, Author 

of "The Earthly Paradise," etc. Price 

One Penny. 

London : Reeves, 185, Fleet Street, E.G. 

Sm. 8vo. 8 pp. and 4 pp. buff wrapper. 

The Voice of Toil : All for the Cause. 

Two Chants for Socialists. By William 


London : Reprinted from " Justice," 

The Organ of the Social Democratic 

Federation. (Price One Penny, n.d.) 

Sm. 8vo. 8 pp. in primrose wrapper (no proper 
title-page except that on wrapper). 

The Socialist League. [With headpiece designed 
by Walter Crane.] 

Chants for Socialists by William Morris. 

Contents : 

5. The March of the 


6. The Message of the 

March Wind. 

1. The Day is Coming. 

2. The Voice of Toil. 

3. All for the Cause. 

4. No Master. 
Price One Penny. 

Published at The Socialist League 
Office, 27 Farringdon Street, London, 
E.C. 1885. 

8vo. 16 pp. in pamphlet form, without wrappers. 
" The Voice of Toil " first appeared in "Justice," 
April s, 1884; "All for the Cause" in "Jus- 
tice," April ig, 1884 ; " No Master" in "Justice," 
June 7, 1884; " The March of the Workers " in 
"Commonweal," February, 1885. "The Mes- 
sage of the March Wind" also appeared in 
" Commonweal." 

All the poems in this edition of " Chants for 
Socialists," except Nos. 4 and 5, were reprinted 
in " Poems by the Way." 

The Socialist League, 
by Walter Crane.] 

Chants for Socialists 


[With headpiece designed 

By William 

The Day is Coming. 
The Voice of Toil. 
The Message of the 
March Wind. 

No Master. 
All for the Cause. 
The March of the 

Down Among the Dead Men. 

London : Socialist League Office, 13 
Farringdon Road, Holborn Viaduct, 
E.C. 1835. 

Price One Penny. 

Sm. 8vo. 16 pp. in pamphlet form, without 
wrappers. This is a later edition, with an addi- 
tional poem. 

"Down among the Dead Men" was not re- 
printed in " Poems by the Way." 

A Selection from the Poems of William 
Morris. Edited with a Memoir by 
Francis Hueffer. 
Leipzig Bernhard Tauchnitz 1886 

[Collection of British Authors, Tauchnitz Edi- 
tion. Vol. 2378.] 
i6mo. pp. 320 and 16 pp. advts. 
Includes selections from " The Defence of 
Guenevere," "Life and Death of Jason," "The 
Earthly Paradise," " Love is Enough," and 
" The Story of Sigurd the Volsung." 

The God of the Poor. By William 
Morris, author of " The Earthly Para- 
dise." Originally published in the 
" Fortnightly Review," August 1, 1868. 

[On wrapper is the following imprint : — ] London : 

Printed at the Office of "Justice," The Organ of 

the Social Democratic Federation. (Price One 


Sm. 8vo. 8 pp. in red paper wrapper. 


The Pilgrims of Hope A Poem In 
Thirteen Books By William Morris 
London : Brought together from " The 
Commonweal" For March, April, May, 
June, August, September, & November, 
1885, And January, March, April, May 8, 
June 5, & July 3, MDCCCLXXXVI. 
[Privately Printed.] 

Sq. cr. 8vo. Blank leaf, half-title, title, contents, 
prefatory note, and second half-title, 6 leaves ; 
text, pp. 9 — 6g ; and I blank leaf. In grey paper 

Sold for the Benefit of Linnell's Orphans. 

Alfred Linnell Killed in Trafalgar 
Square, November 20, 1887. A Death 
Song, By Mr. W. Morris. Memorial 
Design by Mr. Walter Crane. Price 
One Penny. 

Impl. 8vo. (7 in. by To in.) pp. 8. Title; Alfred 
Linnell, pp. 2 — 4 ; first verse of song with music, 
followed by complete text of the song (4 verses), 
pp. 5-8. 

This is the first edition of Morris's Death Song 
for Alfred Linnell. 

Christmas Song. By William Morris. 
(Stream of Life Series.) 
Lothrop, Boston, U.S.A. 1887. 

l6mo. bds. 25 cts. 

Atalanta's Race and other Tales from 
the Earthly Paradise. By William 
Morris. Edited with Notes by Oscar 
Fay Adams with the co-operation of 
William J. Rolfe, A.M., Litt. D. With 

Boston [U.S.A.] Ticknor and Com- 
pany i883 

Sm. Svo. pp. x and 11 — 242 and 2 blank pp. (the 
frontispiece and page illustrations are included 
in the pagination). The illustrations are from 
" process " blocks. 

All for the Cause. A Song for Socialists. 
Words by William Morris. Music by 
E. Belfort Bax. 
London. 1887. 

4to. pp. 4. 

The words appeared originally in "Justice." 

The Legend of "The Briar Rose." A 
Series of Pictures Painted by E. Burne- 
Jones, A.R.A. Exhibited at Thos. 
Agnew & Sons' Galleries, 39 Old Bond 
Street W. 1890. 

i2mo. pp.12, (pp. 10 — 11 contain Morris's four 
quatrains on the four pictures). This is the first 
edition, but in the same year another edition was 
issued in sm. 8vo. (pp. 24) with the Morris quat- 
rains on pp. 5 — 17, and bound in grey wrapper. 

Poems by the Way Written by Wil- 
liam Morris 

London: Reeves and Turner 

Sm. 4to. Two blank leaves ; half-title, title, and 
contents, 3 leaves ; B — CC in fours (last two 
leaves blank). 

The above is the collation of the large paper 
issue, of which 100 copies were printed on hand- 
made paper. 

The ordinary edition was a small square octavo 
with the collation : one leaf with advt. on verso ; 
half-title, title, and contents, 3 leaves, B — CC 2 
in fours. 

Mr. Morris printed the first edition at the Kelm- 
scott Press in 1891. See Kelmscott Press Pubs. 

Poetical Works of William Morris. 
Cheaper Issue. Library Edition. 
Longmans & Co. London 1896. 

Cr. 8vo. 10 vols. 

Vols. I.— IV. The Earthly Paradise. 
Vol. V. The Life and Death of Jason. 8th edit. 
Vol. VI. Defence of Guenevere, and other 
poems. Reprinted without alteration from the 
edition of 1858. 

Vol. VII. The Story of Sigurd the Volsung and 
the Fall of the Niblungs. 5th edit. 
Vol. VIII. Poems by the Way. Love is 

Vol. IX. The Odyssey of Homer done into 
English verse. 

Vol. X. The jEneids of Virgil done Into Eng- 
lish verse. 2nd edit. 


A Dream of John Ball and A King's 
Lesson. (Reprinted from the ' Common- 
weal.') By William Morris, Author of 
"The Earthly Paradise," etc. With 
an Illustration by Edward Burne- 

London : Reeves & Turner, 196 Strand. 

Imp. 24mo. 1 blank leaf, half-title, I leaf; title- 
page and contents, 2 leaves; frontispiece by 
Burne-Jones on special plate paper. B — K in 
eights (pp. viii and 144, last page unpaged), I 
leaf advt. inserted at end. Published at 4*. bd. 
The half-title to " A King's Lesson " is on sig. 
K2 (pp. 130— 131). 

Mr. Morris reprinted this volume at the Kelm- 
scott Press in 1892. See Kelmscott Press 
Pubs. Bibl. 

The work ran as a serial through eleven num- 
bers of " The Commonweal." 

Reprinted in this form by the kind permission of 
Messrs. Reeves & Turner, Publishers of Mr. 
Morris's Works. 

A King's Lesson By William Morris 
Author of " The Earthly Paradise," etc. 
Aberdeen : Printed and Published by 
James Leatham 15 St. Nicholas Street 

i6mo. 16 pp. (last leaf consists of advts.), 
bound in grey wrapper. 

A Tale of the House of the Wolfings 
and all the Kindreds of the Mark written 
in Prose and in Verse by William 

Whiles in the early winter eve 
We pass amid the gathering night 
Some homestead that we had to leave 
Years past ; and see its candles bright 
Shine in the room beside the door 
"Where we were merry years agone, 
But now must never enter more, 
As still the dark road drives us on. 
E'en so the world of men may turn 
At even of some hurried day 
And see the ancient glimmer burn 
Across the waste that hath no way ; 
Then with that faint light in its eyes 
Awhile I bid it linger near 
And nurse in wavering memories 
The bitter sweet of days that were. 

London 1889 ; Reeves and Turner 196 

Sm. 4to. One blank leaf; half-title, title, and 

contents, 3 leaves ; B — O4 in eights. 

Of the large paper edition there were one 

hundred copies printed, of which eighty-nine were 

for sale. 

Roberts of Boston, U.S.A., issued an edition 

in 1890. 

The Roots of the Mountains wherein 
is told somewhat of the Lives of the 
Men of Burgdale their Friends their 
Neighbours their Foemen and their 
Fellows in Arms By William Morris 

Whiles carried o'er the iron road, 

We hurry by some fair abode ; 

The garden bright amidst the hay, 

The yellow wain upon the way, 

The dining men, the wind that sweeps 

Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps — 

The gable grey, the hoary roof, 

Here now — and now so far aloof. 

How sorely then we long to stay 

And midst its sweetness wear the day, 

And 'neath its changing shadows sit, 

And feel ourselves a part of it. 

Such rest, such stay, I strive to win 

With these same leaves that lie herein. 

London MDCCCXC : Reeves and 
Turner CXCVI Strand. 

Sm. 4to. 1 prel. leaf with advt. on verso; half- 
title, 1 leaf; title and contents, 2 leaves ; B — 3 H 
in fours (pp. 424, prel. leaves unpaged). A 32 pp. 
catalogue of the publishers inserted at the end. 
Published at Bs. and bound in red-brown cloth. 
Of the large paper edition there were 250 copies 
printed, and bound in flowered cretonne. 

The Story of the Glittering Plain which 
has been also called the Land of Living 
Men or the Acre of the Undying Writ- 
ten by William Morris. 
London Reeves and Turner. 

Sm. 4to. One leaf of advts. ; half-title, title, and 

contents, 3 leaves; B — Z 2 in fours. 

The first edition of this work was issued by Mr. 

Morris from the Kelmscott press. See Kelm- 
scott Press Publications Bibl. Originally it 
appeared as a serial in the " English Illustrated 
Magazine," vol. vii., pp. 687,754, 824, 884. 

News from Nowhere or An Epoch of 
Rest, being some chapters from a 
Utopian Romance by William Morris 
Author of The Earthly Paradise. 
London : Reeves & Turner. 1891. 

Sm. 8vo. One blank leaf; half-title and title, 
2 leaves ; B — Q in eights (last leaf blank). 
A special edition on hand-made paper was also 
issued, limited to 250 copies. 

Mr. Morris reprinted this story at the Kelmscott 
Press in 1892. See Kelmscott Press Pubs. Bibl. 
The story ran as a serial through thirty-nine 
numbers of " The Commonweal." 
Messrs. Roberts Bros, of Boston, U.S.A., issued 
in 1890 a reprint of this romance from " The 
Commonweal," uncorrected. Mr. Morris's own 
1891 edition was largely revised. The collation 
of the American edition is : half-title, title, and 
contents, pp. i — vi; text, pp. 7—278; advts. pp. 
279 - 280 ; reprint of a criticism from the " Athe- 
naeum," pp. 1 — 8. On verso of half-title is a 
reduced copy of Mr. Crane's cartoon, " Labour's 
May Day." 

Of Child Christopher and Fair Goldilind. 

See Kelmscott Press Pubs. Bibl. 

The Wood Beyond the World. By 

William Morris. 

London : Lawrence and Bullen, 16, 

Henrietta Street, Covent Garden. 


Sm. sq. 8vo. One blank leaf; half-title, title, 
and contents, 3 leaves; B— Q in eights; R, 
4 leaves ; S, 2 leaves (last leaf contains printers' 
name only). In addition to the ordinary edition 
there were 50 copies printed on Whatman paper, 
and bound in olive-green art linen with paper 

The first edition of this romance was issued 
from the Kelmscott Press in 1394. See Kelm- 
scott Press Pubs. Bibl. 

The Well at the World's End a Tale by 
William Morris Volume I [Volume II] 
Longmans, Green, and Co. London, 
New York, and Bombay MDCCCXCVI 

8vo. 2 vols, antique boards, linen back. 
Collation: Vol. I. Two blank leaves ; half-title 
and title, 2 leaves; contents, 2 leaves; B — BB in 
eights (last three leaves blank except sig. BB6, 
which has the imprint of the Chiswick Press). 
Vol. II. Three blank leaves ; half-title and title, 
2 leaves; contents, one leaf; B — T6 in eights 
(last two leaves blank), sig. B 1 is the half-title to 
Book III., and to each of the four books of the 
story there is a separate half-title. 


The Decorative Arts their relation to 
Modern Life and Progress An Address 


Delivered before the Trades' Guild of 
Learning by William Morris. 
London : Ellis and White 29 New 
Bond Street. [1878.] 

Sm. 8vo. pp. 32 (incl. title), issued in grey 


Reprinted with the title " The Lesser Arts" in 

the volume " Hopes and Fears for Art." 

Issued in America (Boston) by Roberts in the 

same year. 

Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design. 
Address delivered in the Town Hall, 
Birmingham, 19th February, 1879. Bir- 
mingham, n.d. [1879]. 
8vo. sd. pp. 24. 

Reprinted with the title " The Art of the People," 
in the volume " Hopes and Fears for Art," 

Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design. 
Labour and Pleasure versus Labour and 
Sorrow. An Address by William 
Morris, President, in the Town Hall, 
Birmingham, 19th February, 1880. Bir- 
mingham, n.d. [1880]. 

8vo. sd. 

Reprinted with the title " The Beauty of Life " 

in the volume " Hopes and Fears for Art." 

Lectures on Art Delivered in support 
of the Society for the Protection of 
Ancient Buildings By Reginald Stuart 
Poole Prof. W. B. Richmond E. J. 
Poynter, R.A. J. T. Micklethwaite 
William Morris 
London Macmillan and Co. 1882. 

Sm. 8vo. One blank leaf; half-title, title, pre- 
face, and contents, 5 leaves ; B — Q 4 in eights. 
Mr. Morris's contributions to this volume con- 
sist of two lectures "The History of Pattern 
Designing," and " The Lesser Arts of Life." 
These occupy pp. 127 — 232 of the volume. 

Hopes and Fears for Art. Five Lectures 
delivered in Birmingham, London, and 
Nottingham, 1878-1S81. By William 
Morris, Author of ' The Life and Death 
of Jason,' ' The Earthly Paradise,' &c. 
London: Ellis & White, 29 New Bend 
Street. 1882. 

Sm. 8vo. Half-title and title, 2 leaves ; B— P 6 
in eights (last leaf consists of advts.). 
Of this work there was a large paper edition of 
25 copies. 

Roberts of Boston, U.S.A., issued an edition in 

Contents : The Lesser Arts (delivered before 
the Trades' Guild of Learning); The Art of the 
People (delivered before the Birmingham Society 
of Arts and School of Design) ; The Beauty of 
Life (delivered before the Birmingham Society 
of Arts and School of Design) ; Making the 
Best of It (delivered before the Trades' Guild of 
Learning and the Birmingham Society of Artists); 
The Prospects of Architecture in Civilization 
(delivered at the London Institution). 
The lecture " The Lesser Arts" was first pub- 
lished in 1878 with the title " The Decorative 
Arts, their relation to Modern Life and Progress." 

" The Art of the People " was first published in 
1879 as a Birmingham address. " The Beauty 
of Life " was issued separately in 1880 under 
the title " Labour and Pleasure verszts Labour 
and Sorrow." 

International Health Exhibition. London, 1884. 
Textile Fabrics. A Lecture delivered 
in the Lecture Room of the Exhibition, 
July nth, 1884. By William Morris. 
Printed and Published for the Executive 
of the International Health Exhibition, 
and for the Council of the Society of 
Arts, by William Clowes and Sons, 
Limited, International Health Exhibi- 
tion, and 13, Charing Cross, S.W. 1884. 

8vo. pp. 32 (last leaf contains imprint of printers 
only) bound in pale green wrapper, and pub- 
lished at 6d. 

Art and Socialism : a Lecture delivered 

[January 23rd, 1884] before the Secular 

Society of Leicester, by William Morris, 

Author of " The Earthly Paradise," 


And Watchman : 'What of the Night ? 

Cum Privilegio Auctoris. 

Imprinted for E. E. M. and W. L. S. 

Anno 1884. Sold by W. Reeves, 185, 

Fleet Street, London, E.C. ; and by 

Heywoods, London and Manchester. 

[Leek Bijou Reprints. No. VII. Large Paper. 
Price is.] Sq. i6mo. pp. 72 and 16 pp. advts. 
Issued in yellow wrapper. The ordinary edition 
is in red wrapper. 

The Aims of Art By William Morris 
Author of" The Earthly.Paradise," etc. 
London Office of " The Commonweal " 
13 Farringdon Road 1887. 

i6mo. pp. 40 (including title). Issued with 
wrapper. There was a special edition on hand- 
made paper with grey wrapper, from which the 
above description and collation have been taken. 
The article was republished in the volume 
entitled " Signs of Change." 

On the External Coverings of Roofs. 

A four-page leaflet issued by The Society for 
the Protection of Ancient Buildings. London, 
n.d. 8vo. Without Mr. Morris's name as 

The Socialist Ideal of Art. By William 
Morris, Author of "The Earthly Para- 
dise," " A Dream of John Ball," " News 
from Nowhere," &c. &c. 
London : Reprinted from " The New 
Review," January 1891. 

Sm. 8vo. 12 pp. (without wrapper). 
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. 

Address on the Collection of Paintings, 
of the English Pre-Raphaelite School, 
delivered by Mr. William Morris, in the 
Museum and Art Gallery, on Friday, 
October 2nd, 1891. 


Birmingham: E. C. Osborne and Son, 
84, New Street. Price One Penny. 

8vo. 16 pp. pamphlet, including title. Without 

The Principles of the Society for the 
Protection of Ancient Buildings as set 
forth upon its Foundation in 1877, and 
■which are here reprinted in 1891 with- 
out alteration. 

Unsigned. A folio broadside of 2 pp., forming a 
prospectus and list of members of the Society. 

Arts and Crafts Essays By Members 

of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition 

Society With a Preface by William 


London Rivington, Percival, & Co. 


Sm. 8vo. One blank leaf; half-title and title, 
2 leaves ; preface, 5 leaves ; contents, 2 leaves : 
B — 2 E 2 in eights, and 24 pp. catalogue of the 
publishers, (pp. xvii and 420. ) In addition to the 
preface the volume also contains the articles on 
" Textiles " and " Dyeing as an Art," which 
originally appeared in the First and Second 
Catalogues of the Arts and Crafts Exhibition 
Society (1888— 1889). The essay on " Printing," 
which in the 1888 Arts and Crafts Exhibition 
Catalogue was written by Mr. Emery Walker 
alone, is here recast and issued in the joint 
names of William Morris and Emery Walker. 

Gothic Architecture. A Lecture for the 
Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society. 

See Kelmscott Press Pubs. Bibl. 

Concerning 'Westminster Abbey. 
The Society for the Protection of Ancient 
Buildings. London : g Buckingham 
Street, Adelphi, W.C. [1894.] 
Unsigned. Cr. 8vo. 18 pp. including wrapper. 


A Summary of the Principles of 
Socialism Written for the Democratic 
Federation, By H. M. Hyndman and 
William Morris. 

London : The Modern Press, 13 and 14, 
Paternoster Row, E.C. 1884. 

Sm. 8vo. with pink wrapper. B — E in eights 
(pp. 64, last leaf contains advts. ). Front wrap- 
per has a floriated design within which is printed 
the title. The wrapper was designed by Mr. W. 

Price One Halfpenny. 

For whom shall we vote ? Addressed 

to the Working-Men Electors of Great 


Sm.8vo. 8 pp. (without title or wrapper. Written 
by Morris, although without his name). 

No. 11.] What Socialists Want. 

A single demy 8vo. leaf, printed on both sides. 

The Socialist Platform. No. 2. The Socialist 
League. [With headpiece designed by Walter 

Useful Work v. Useless Toil. By Wil- 
liam Morris. 

London : Socialist League Office, 13 
Farringdon Road, Holborn Viaduct, 
E.C. 1885. Price One Penny. 

Sm. 8vo. 24 pp. (incl. title) without wrappers, 
paged continuously with No. I of" The Socialist 
Platform," p. 17 — p. 40. The first five issues of 
" The Socialist Platform " are paginated con- 
tinuously ; the others separately. 
Mr. Morris and Mr. Ernest Belfort Bax signed 
an Introductory Editorial Note which appears in 
each of the pamphlets issued under this title. 
The pamphlet is reprinted as part of the book 
entitled " Signs of Change." 

Price One Penny.] 

The Manifesto of the Socialist'League. 

Sm.8vo. 8 pp. (without title or wrapper). Written 
by W. Morris, but unsigned. 

The Manifesto of The Socialist League. 
Signed by the Provisional Council at 
the Foundation of the League on 30th 
Dec. 1884, and adopted at The General 
Conference Held at Farringdon Hall, 
London, on July 5th, 1885. A new edi- 
tion, Annotated by William Morris and 
E. Belfort Bax. 

London : Socialist League Office, 13 
Farringdon Road, Holborn Viaduct, 
E.C. 1885. Price One Penny. 

Sm. 8vo. 16 pp. in pamphlet form, 'last leaf 
unpaged. The " Prefatory Note" is signed and 
dated "October, 1885." 

The Socialist Platform. No. 4. The Socialist 
League. [With headpiece designed by Walter 

A Short Account of the Commune of 
Paris. By E. Belfort Bax, Victor Dave, 
and William Morris. Price Twopence. 
London : Socialist League Office, 13, 
Farringdon Road, Holborn Viaduct, 
E.C. 1886. 

Sm. 8vo. 24 pp. without wrapper ; paged 57 to 


A Lecture delivered under the auspices of the 
Norwich Branch of the Socialist League, at the 
Victoria Hall, Norwich, on Monday evening, 
March 8th, 1886, by Mr. William Morris. 
Reprinted from " Daylight." 

A broadsheet (17 x iof in.) with four columns of 
small print on each side. 

Claims of Labour Lectures — No. 5. The 
Labour Question from the Socialist 
Standpoint. By William Morris. 
Edinburgh Co-operative Printing Com- 


pany Limited, Bristo Place. 1886. 
Price One Penny. 

8vo. 32 pp. (pp. 30-31 blank; p. 32, advt.). 
Without wrapper. 

The Claims of Labour. A Course of 
Lectures delivered in Scotland in the 
Summer of 1886, on Various Aspects of 
the Labour Problem. By John Burnet, 
. . . Benjamin Jones, . . . Patrick Geddes, 
F.R.S.E. ; Alfred Russell Wallace, 
LL.D., F.L.S., &c. ; William Morris; 
and Herbert Somerton Foxwell . . . 
Edinburgh Co-Operative Printing Com- 
pany Limited, 1886. 

Sm. 8vo. A — S 2 in eights (including title), and 
a folding plan called " Curve of General Whole- 
sale Prices," pasted on back cover. 
Mr. Morris's contribution to this volume is the 
lecture entitled " The Labour Question from the 
Socialist Standpoint " (pp. 155 — 185), which 
was issued separately as a pamphlet in 1886. 
The volume was bound originally in pink linen 
limp, and published at one shilling. 

The Tables Turned ; or, Nupkins 
Awakened A Socialist Interlude by 
William Morris Author of ' The 
Earthly Paradise.' As for the first 
time played at the Hall of the Socialist 
League on Saturday October 15th, 1887. 
London: Office of "The Commonweal " 
13 Farringdon Road, E.C. 1887. All 
Rights Reserved. 

Sm. 8vo. 32 pp. without title-page, but with a 
blue wrapper, the four pages of which are not in- 
cluded in the pagination. 

" The Socialist Platform." No. 6. The Socialist 
League [with headpiece designed by Walter 

True and False Society. By William 


London : Socialist League Office 13 

Farringdon Road, E.C. 1888. 

Price One Penny. 

Sm. 8vo. 24 pp., last leaf blank on recto, and 

contains advts. on verso. Without wrapper. 

Signs of Change. Seven Lectures de- 
livered on Various Occasions By 
William Morris Author of " The 
Earthly Paradise." 

London Reeves and Turner 196 Strand 

Contents : How we Live and How we might 
Live — Whigs, Democrats, and Socialists — Feu- 
dal England — The Hopes of Civilization — The 
Aims of Art — Useful Work versus Useless Toil — 
Dawn of a New Epoch. 

The first four lectures originally appeared in the 
" Commonweal ; " " Aims of Art " was published 
as a pamphlet in 1887, and " Useful Work" as a 
pamphlet in 1885. 

Sm. 8vo. One leaf of advt. ; half-title, title, pre- 
face, and contents, 5 leaves; B — O 6 in eights; 
last leaf consists of advts. 

There was also a Large Paper edition issut 
bound in buff- coloured linen, and printed on 
hand-made paper. 


" The Socialist Platform." No. 7. The Socialist 
League [with headpiece designed by Walter 

Monopoly: or, How Labour is Robbed. 
By William Morris, Author of " The 
Earthly Paradise." Price One Penny. 
London; Office of " The Commonweal " 
24 Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn 
Fields, W.C. 1890. 

Sm. 8vo. 16 pp. without wrapper. On the 
verso of title-page is a cartoon signed H. R. 

Price One Penny. 

Under an Elm-Tree ; or, Thoughts in 

the Country Side. By Wm. Morris, 

Author of " The Earthly Paradise," 

&c, &c. 

Aberdeen : Printed and Published by 

James Leatham, 15 St. Nicholas Street. 


i6mo. 16 pp. (in pamphlet form, without wrap- 
pers). Originally appeared in "The Common- 

William Morris Poet, Artist, Socialist. 
A Selection from his Writings together 
with a Sketch of the Man. Edited by 
Francis Watts Lee. 

New York The Humboldt Publishing 
Co. Clinton Hall, Astor Place (1891). 

Cr. 8vo. One blank leaf; half-title, title, con- 
tents, 3 leaves ; introduction, 7 leaves ; and pp. 
300 and 1 blank leaf. (No sigs.) Bound in buff 
paper wrapper. 

Contents: Introduction — "William Morris. By 
William Clarke — A Dream of John Ball— A 
King's Lesson — Signs of Change — How the 
Change Came — Chants for Socialists (6). 
Appeared as No. 5 of " The Social Science 
Library," edited by W. D. P. Bliss. 

Socialism its Growth & Outcome by 
William Morris Author of ' The Earthly 
Paradise,' ' News from Nowhere,' etc. 
and E. Belfort Bax Author of ' History 
of Philosophy,' 'The Religion of Social- 
ism,' etc. 

London Swan Sonnenschein & Co. 
New York : Charles Scribner's Sons 

Sm. 8vo. Four prel. leaves, consisting of half- 
title, title, preface, and contents ; B — Y in eights. 
Last four leaves consist of '* Index." 
A special edition was also issued on large paper 
and bound in red buckram. The substance of 
the volume appeared serially in " The Common- 
weal," with the title " Socialism from the Root 

In 1896 it was included as one of the publishers' 
" Social Science Series." 

The Reward of Labour : A Dialogue 
by William Morris, author of " The 


Earthly Paradise." Being No. I of the 
Hammersmith Socialist Library. 

One Penny. 

n. d. 8vo. 12 pp., no regular title-page ; in grey 
wrapper. Reprinted from " The Commonweal." 
Printed by Hayman, Christy & Lilly, Ltd. 20 & 22 
St. Bride St. E.C. 

Letters on Socialism by William Morris 
London : Privately Printed. 1894. 

8vo. Two blank leaves ; half-title ; 4 pp. fac- 
simile of a letter from Mr. Morris, on Japanese 
vellum; title, certificate as to impression of 
edition, note, 3 leaves; B — I in twos (last leaf 
has on recto copy of book-plate of the Ashley 
Library) and 2 blank leaves. 

The letters were addressed to the Rev. George 
Bainton, of Coventry, and, as the " note " 
states, " are printed with Mr. Morris's permis- 
sion, though not upon his initiative." 

How I became a Socialist [Portrait.] 
William Morris. [Price One Penny. 

8vo. 16 pp. Mr. Hyndman's Introduction oc- 
cupies pp. 3-8. 


Grettis Saga. The Story of Grettir the 
Strong Translated from the Icelandic 
by Eirikr Magnusson, Translator of 
'Legends of Iceland;' and William 
Morris, Author of ' The Earthly Para- 

London : F. S. Ellis, King Street, 
Covent Garden. MDCCCLXIX. 

[Pub. at 8i.] 

Sm. 8vo. Half-title and title, 2 leaves ; preface, 

6 leaves ; sig. /', 4 leaves ; a double-page " map 

of the West parts of Iceland, with the chief 

steads named in the story;" B — X 2 in eights 

(last leaf consists of advts.). The verso of the 

half-title contains a sonnet by William Morris 

beginning : 

" A life scarce worth the living, a poor fame 

Scarce worth the winning, in a wretched land." 

Volsunga Saga. The Story of the 
Volsungs & Niblungs with Certain 
Songs from the Elder Edda. Trans- 
lated from the Icelandic by Eirikr 
Magnusson, Translator of ' Legends of 
Iceland;' and William Morris, Author 
of ' The Earthly Paradise.' 
London : F. S. Ellis, King Street, 
Covent Garden. MDCCCLXX. 

Sm. 8vo. Half-title and title, 2 leaves ; preface, 

4 leaves ; contents, 2 leaves ; sig. l>, 2 leaves ; 

B — T 2 in eights and one blank leaf. The 

" Songs from the Elder Edda " has a special 

half-title (p. 165). 

The ornamental cloth binding was designed by 

Philip Webb. 

There was a large paper issue of 12 copies, the 

title-page in most of the copies being decorated 

by W. Morris himself. 

Volsunga Saga : The Story of the Vol- 
sungs and Niblungs, with certain Songs 
from the Elder Edda. Edited, with 
Introduction and Notes, by H. Halliday 
Sparling. Translated from the Icelandic 
by Eirikr Magnusson (Translator of 
"Legends of Iceland"); and 'William 
Morris (Author of " The Earthly Para- 

Walter Scott London : 24 Warwick 
Lane Paternoster Row 1888. 

[" The Camelot Series. Edited by Ernest Rhys" 

on half-title.] 

Sigs. a, b, c, 8 leaves each (including half-title 

and title) ; sig. rf, 2 leaves ; sigs. 001 — 0018 6 in 

eights (last four leaves unpaged and consist of 

advts.). (pp. hi and 276.) There are two special 

half-titles in the body of the book — " The Story 

of the Volsungs and Niblungs " (p. xlvii), and 

" Songs from the Elder Edda " (p. 161). 

This is a reprint of the first edition issued in 


Three Northern Love Stories, and other 

Tales. Translated from the Icelandic 

by Eirikr Magnusson and William 


London : Ellis & White, 29 New Bond 

Street. 1875. 

Sm. 8vo. Half-title and title, 2 leaves; sig. a, 

4 leaves ; B — R in eights. To each of the six 

stories there is a special half-title. 

A large paper edition of 25 copies was also 


The .rEneids of Virgil Done into Eng- 
lish Verse by William Morris, Author 
of ' The Earthly Paradise.' 
London : Ellis and White, New Bond 

[Pub. at 14J.] 

Sq. 8vo. Half-title and title, 2 leaves; B — BB 
in eights (last leaf blank). 

A large paper edition of 25 copies was also 

In 1875 an edition was issued by Roberts of Bos- 
ton, U.S.A., in 8vo. 

The Odyssey of Homer Done into 
English Verse by William Morris 
Author of The Earthly Paradise. In 
Two Volumes. Vol. I. [Vol. II.] 
London : Reeves & Turner, 196 Strand. 

4to. Vol. I. : half-title, title, and contents, 4 
leaves ; B — Q 4 in eights (last leaf blank). 
Vol. II. : half-title, title, and contents, 4 leaves ; 
R — GG 6 in eights. The pagination is also con- 
tinuous through the two volumes. 
Printed on hand-made paper, and bound in 
marble boards with half-vellum backs. This was 
the large paper issue of 50 copies. The small 
paper edition was also on hand-made paper, but 
was bound in antique boards, half parchment. 

The Saga Library. Vol. I. TVol. II.] 
[Vol. III.] [Vol. IV.] [Vol. V.] 

The Story of Howard the Halt. 

The Story of the Branded Men. 

The Story of Hen Thorir. 
Done into English out of the Icelandic. 
By William Morris and Eirikr Magnus- 

London : Bernard Quaritch, 15 Picca- 
dilly. 1891. 

Sm. 8vo. Vol. I. : half-title, and title, 2 leaves ; 
preface, 22 leaves; half-title to "The Story of 
Howard the Halt," one leaf; " Corrigenda," one 
leaf; "Map of the Country of the Howard's Saga," 
one leaf; B — Q2 in eights, with half-titles to 
each of the stories. The maps are not included 
in the signatures ; there is a map to each story. 

Vol. II. Eyrbyggja Saga— [Title :— ] 
The Story of the Ere-Dwellers (Eyr- 
byggja Saga) with The Story of the 
Heath-Slayings (Hei'Sarviga Saga) as 
Appendix. Done into English out of 
the Icelandic by William Morris and 
Eirfkr Magnusson. 

London Bernard Quaritch, 15 Picca- 
dilly 1892. 

Half-title and title, 2 leaves ; contents, 3 leaves ; 
preface, ig leaves ; chronological list, 2 leaves ; 
addenda and corrigenda, 1 leaf; B — DD 6 in 
eights (last leaf contains printer's name only). 
The map of "The Story of the Heath-Slayings" 
is not included in the signatures. The map for 
" The Story of the Ere-Dwellers" is on the verso 
of the half-title to that story. 

Vol. III. Heimskringla. Vol. I. 
[Title :— ] The Stories of the Kings of 
Norway called the Round World 
(Heimskringla) By Snorri Sturluson 
Done into English out of the Icelandic 
by William Morris and Eirikr Magnus- 
son. Vol. I. With a Large Map of 

London Bernard Quaritch, 15 Picca- 
dilly 1893. 

Half-title, title, contents, translator's note, 4 
leaves; B — CC in eights; DD, 4 leaves ; EE, one 
leaf. The map is in a pocket made in the inside 
of the back cover. 

Vol. IV. Heimskringla. Vol. II. 

[Title as for Vol. I., with the exception that there 
is no mention made of the map of Norway, that 
Vol. II. is printed instead of Vol. I., and that the 
date is 1894.] 

One blank leaf; half-title, title, and contents, 
3 leaves; B — II 2 in eights. 

Vol. V. Heimskringla. Vol. III. 

[Title as for Vol. I. and Vol. II. Date, 1895.] 
Half-title, title, note, and contents, 4 leaves ; 
B — II in eights, KK, 4 leaves, LL, two leaves 
(last leaf blank). 

In addition to the ordinary edition there was a 
large paper issue (roy. 8vo.) of 125 copies, all 
numbered. Both issues were bound in rox- 
burghe binding, with gilt top. 

The Ordination of Knighthood. 

Translation in Verse by W. Morris of " L'Orderre 

de Chevalerie." 

In "The Order of Chivalry," pp. 128 — 147. 

Kelmscott Press. 1893. 

See Bibliog. Kelmscott Press Pubs. 

Of King Florus and the Fair Jehane. 
Translated by William Morris. 1893. 
See Kelmscott Press Pubs. Bibl. 

Of the Friendship of Amis and Amite. 
Translated by William Morris. 1894. 
See Kelmscott Press Pubs. Bibl. 

The Tale of the Emperor Constans 
and of Over Sea. Translated by William 
Morris. 1894. 
See Kelmscott Press Pubs. Bibl. 

Old French Romances done into Eng- 
lish by William Morris with an Intro- 
duction by Joseph Jacobs. 
London George Allen, Ruskin House 
1896 All rights reserved. 

Sm. 8vo. Half-title, title, 2 leaves; introduction, 
n leaves ; contents, 3 leaves ; A — M 2 in eights 
(last leaf blank). 

This work is a reprint of the three items fore- 

The Tale of Beowulf. Done out of the 
Old English tongue by 'William Morris 
and A. J. Wyatt. (1895). 
See Kelmscott Press Pubs. Bibl. 

ZINES, &c. 

The Oxford and Cambridge Magazine 

For 1856. Conducted by the Members 

of the Two Universities. 

London : Bell and Daldy, Fleet Street. 


8vo. title and contents, 2 leaves; B — 3 F 6 in 


Issued originally in monthly parts, with green 

paper wrappers. It was edited by Mr. Fulford. 
Contents : 

I. Essays:— Sir Philip Sidney. Part I. Prelude 
— Part II. The Learner — Alfred Tennyson. 
Parts I., II., III.— The Newcomes — The 
Barrier Kingdoms — Tne Churches of North 
France — Shakespeare's Minor Poems — Mr. 
Macaulay — The Prospects of Peace — A Few 
Words concerning Plato and Bacon — Car- 
lyle. Parti. His "I believe"— Part II. His 
Lamp for the Old Years — Part III. Another 
Look at his Lamp for the Old Years — Part 
IV. As a Writer— Part V. His Lamp for 
the New Years — Oxford — Prometheus — 
Unhealthy Employments — Shakespeare's 
Troilus and Cressida — On Popular Lectures 
— Thackeray and Currer Bell — Ruskin and 
the Quarterly — On the Life and Character 


of Marshal St. Arnaud— A Study in Shake- 
speare — Lancashire and Mary Barton — 
Woman, her Duties, Education, and Posi- 
tion — Death the Avenger, and Death the 
Friend — Two Pictures — Robert Herrick— 
Alexander Smith -— The Work of Young 
Men in the Present Age — Twelfth Night, or 
What You Will, a Study in Shakespeare — 
Rogers' Table-Talk— The Sceptic and the 
Infidel. Parts I. and II. 

II. Tales:— The Cousin— The Story of the Un- 
known Church — The Rivals — A Story of the 
North — The Two Partings — A Dream — 
Found Yet Lost— Frank's Sealed Letter — 
The Sacrifice — A Night in a Cathedral — 
Gertha's Lovers — Svend and his Brethren — 
Cavalay, a Chapter of a Life — The Hollow 
Land — Lindenborg Pool — The Druid and 
the Maiden — Golden Wings. 

III. Poetry:— Winter Weather— In Youth I Died 
— Fear — Remembrance — Riding Together — 
The Suitor of Low Degree — The Singing 
of the Poet — To the English Army before 
Sebastopol — Hands — The Burden of Nine- 
veh — The Chapel in Lyoness— A Year Ago 
—Pray but One Prayer for Us— The Blessed 
Damozel — Childhood — The Staff and the 
Scrip— The Porch of Life. 

IV. Notices of Books : — Kingsley's Sermons for 
the Times — Men and Women, by Robert 
Browning — Mr. Ruskin's New Volume — 
Froude's History of England — The Song of 
Hiawatha, by H. W. Longfellow — Recent 
Poems and Plays — England in Time of 
War, by Sydney Dobell— Within and With- 
out. A Dramatic Poem. By George Mac- 

I have obtained the best information I could 
with regard to the contributions by Mr. Morris to 
this magazine, and the result is given below: — 
The Churches of North France (pp. gg-no) — 
Ruskin and the Quarterly (pp. 353-361) — Death the 
Avenger, and Death the Friend (pp. 477-479) — 
The Story of the Unknown Church (pp. 28-33) — 
A Dream (pp. 146-155) — Frank's Sealed Letter 
(pp. 225-234) — A Night in a Cathedral (pp. 310- 
316) — Gertha's Lovers. Part I. (pp. 403-417) ; 
Part II. (pp. 499-512) — Svend and his Brethren 
(pp. 488-499)— The Hollow Land. Part I. (pp. 
565-577); Part II. (pp. 632-641) — Lindenborg 
Pool (pp. 530-534)— Golden Wings (pp. 733-742)— 
Winter Weather (pp. 62-64) — Riding Together 
(pp. 320-321) — Hands (p. 452) — The Cbapel in 
Lyoness (pp. 577-579) — Pray but One Prayer for 
Us (p. 644) — Men and Women, by Robert Brown- 
ing (pp. 162-172): 

With the exception of " Winter Weather," the 
poems were reprinted in " The Defence of 
Guenevere." The poem here entitled " Hands," 
when reprinted, formed the concluding stanzas 
of the poem "Rapunzel." 

Among the other contributors were D. G. 
Rossetti, Sir E. Burne-Jones, Vernon Lush- 
ington, Godfrey Lushington, B. Cracroft, W. 
Heeley,the editor, and the present Mrs. Kipling, 
Mrs. Poynter, and Lady Burne-Jones. 

(1) POEMS. 

The God of the Poor: a Poem. "Fort- 
nightly Review," August, 1868. 

Afterwards republished in " Poems by the 

The Two Sides of the River: a Poem. 
" Fortnightly Review," October, 1868. 

Afterwards republished in " Poems by the 

On the Edge of the Wilderness — a 
poem. " Fortnightly Review," April, 
1869. (Pp. 39 I -394-) 

Afterwards republished in " Poems by the 


The Seasons — Four stanzas published 
in "The Academy," February 1, 1871. 

This poem was republished with a variant in 
the shape of a new stanza in place of the original 
on Winter, in " Poems by the Way." 

The Dark Wood — poem. " Fortnightly 
Review," February 1, 1871. 

Reprinted in "Poems by the Way" with the 
title " Error and Loss." 

Grosvenor Notes. Edited by Henry 
Blackburn. London: Chatto & Windus, 

Contains on p. 46 the following quatrain [by Mr. 
William Morris] for four paintings by E. Burne- 
Jones : 

No. 167. The heart desires 

No. 168. The hand refrains 

No. r6g. The Godhead fires 

No. r70. The soul attains. 

The Three Seekers. By William 
Morris. " To-Day, " Vol. I., No. 1 
(pp. 25-29), London, January, 1884. 

A poem in fifty-two rhymed couplets. Reprinted 
in " Poems by the Way." 

Meeting in Winter — a poem. " English 
Illustrated Magazine," March, 1884. 
Republished in " Poems by the Way." 

The Hall and the Wood — a poem. 
" English Illustrated Magazine," Vol. 
VII. (p. 351), February, 1890. 
Republished in " Poems by the Way." 

The Day of Days: a Poem. "Time." 
New Series. November, i8go. 
Republished in " Poems by the Way." 

The Briar Rose — Four Stanzas for Pic- 

First published in a pamphlet entitled " The 

Legend of the Briar Rose, a series of pictures 

painted by E. Burne-Jones, A.R.A. Exhibited 

at Thos. Agnew and Sons' Galleries, 3g Old 

Bond Street. l8go." 

Afterwards republished in " Poems by the 


" The Wind's on the Wold," &c. 

Verses for embroidery on bed-hanging for Kelm- 
scott Manor, Lechlade. Three stanzas. First 
of 8 lines, second and third of 10 lines each. 
Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society. Catalogue 
of the Fourth Exhibition. 1893. (Pp. 36, 37.) 
The New Gallery, Regent Street. 


(2) PROSE. 

Poems by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. [A 
Review.] " The Academy," May 14th, 

On Canterbury Cathedral. Two letters 
to the "Times," June 4th and July 7th, 

Destruction of City Churches. Letter 
to the " Times," April 17th, 187S. 

On St. Alban's Abbey. Letter to the 
" Times," August 2nd, 1878. 

Speech by Mr. William Morris at the 
Annual Meeting of the Society for the 
Protection of Ancient Buildings, 28th 
June, 1879. Report (pp. 30-36). 

In this Report is also contained the Report of 
the Committee, which Mr. Morris read. 

On the Restoration of St. Mark's at 
Venice. Two letters to the "Times," 
November 28th and 29th, 1879. 

Vandalism in Italy. Letter to the 
" Times," April 12th, 1882. 

Lectures at Oxford on Art and De- 
mocracy. Two contributions to the 
" Times," November 15th and 16th, 1883. 

A Review of European Society, with an 
Exposition and Vindication of the Prin- 
ciples of Social Democracy. By J. 
Sketchley. 'With an Introduction by 
William Morris. 
London: W. Reeves [1884]. 

Art Under Plutocracy. By William 
Morris. "To-Day," Vol. I., No. 2 (pp. 
79-90) ; Vol. I., No. 3 (pp. 159-176). 
London, February and March, 1884. 

The Exhibition of the Royal Academy 
by a Rare Visitor. "To-Day" (pp. 
75-91). July. 1884. 

Mural Decoration. Illustrated article 
signed W. M. and J. H. M., i.e., William 
Morris and Dr. J. H. Middleton. " En- 
cyclopaedia Britannica." Ninth edition. 
Edinburgh, 1884. Vol. XVII. (pp. 34-48). 

Report of Royal Commission on Tech- 
nical Education. Evidence by Mr. Wil- 
liam Morris. Vol. III. (c. 3981-11.) 
XXXI. I. 1884. 

Speech by Mr. William Morris (The 
Chairman) at the Annual Meeting of the 
Society for the Protection of Ancient 
Buildings, June, 1885. Report (pp. 45-55). 

The Best Hundred Books. Letter to 
the Editor of the " Pall Mall Gazette." 
" Pall Mall Gazette " Extra, No. 24. 
London. [1886.] 

The Revival of Architecture. " Fort- 
nightly Review," May, 1888 (pp. 665-674). 

Textiles — forming part of the Introduc- 
tory Notes to the Catalogue of the First 
Exhibition of the Arts and Crafts Exhi- 
bition Society. New Gallery, Regent 
Street, 1888. (Pp. 17-29.) 

Republished in "Arts and Crafts Essays" 
(Rivington, i8g3.) 

The Principles of Socialism made Plain. 
By Frank Fairman. With Preface by 
William Morris. 
London : William Reeves. 1888. 

The Revival of Handicraft. " Fort- 
nightly Review," November, 1888. 

On Tapestry and Carpet - Weaving. 
Letter to the " Times," November 2nd, 

Westminster Abbey and its Monuments. 
By William Morris, Hon. Sec. of the 
Society for the Protection of Ancient 
Buildings. " Nineteenth Century," 
March, 1889. (Pp. 409-414.) 

Address by Mr. William Morris at the 
Annual Meeting of the Society for the 
Protection of Ancient Buildings, July, 
1889. Report (pp. 62-76). 

On Peterborough Cathedral. A Letter 
to the " Pall Mall Gazette," September 
20th, 1889. 

Of Dyeing as an Art — Catalogue of the 
Second Exhibition of the Arts and 
Crafts Exhibition Society, 1889. (Pp. 

Republished in "Arts and Crafts Essays" 

(Rivington, 1893.) 

Art and Industry in the Fourteenth 
Century. "Time," New Series, Janu- 
ary, i8go. (Pp. 23-26.) 

On Stratford-on-Avon Church. Letter 
to the " Times," August 15th, 1890. 

On the Hanseatic Museum at Bergen. 
Letter to the " Times," September 10th, 

The Story of the Glittering Plain which 
has been also called the Land of Living 
Men or the Acre of the Undying. By 


William Morris. Illustrated by Walter 
Crane. "English Illustrated Magazine," 
Vol. VII. (pp. 687, 754, 824, 884), 1890. 

The Socialist Ideal. I.— Art. By William 
Morris. " New Review," Vol. IV., No. 
20 (pp. 1-8), January, 1891. 

The reply to this by Mr. W. H. Mallock ap- 
peared in the " New Review," Vol. IV., p. 100, 
February, 1891. 

On Westminster Abbey. Letter to the 
"Times," February nth, 1891. 

On the Woodcuts of Gothic Books. 
Two contributions to the " Times," 
January 25th and 28th, 1892. 

The Woodcuts of Gothic Books. A 
paper read before the Society of Arts, 
January 26th, 1892. "Journal of the 
Society of Arts," February 12th, 1892. 
(Pp. 247-260. Illustrated.) 

Ruskin's The Nature of Gothic (1892). 
Preface to, by W. Morris. See Kelm- 
scott Press Pubs. Bibl. 

The Influence of Building Materials 
upon Architecture : By kind permission 
of the Art Workers' Guild. By William 
Morris. " The Century Guild Hobby 
Horse," Vol. VII. (pp. 1-14). 1892. 

Bell Scott (W.). Two Letters to, one 
dated May 6th, 1875, on the publication 
of Scott's Poems, the other dated April 
27th, 1882, on the poet's " Harvest 
Home," printed in " Autobiographical 
Notes of the Life of W. Bell Scott." 
London : Osgood & Co. 1892. 2 vols. 

The first letter is to be found on pp. 212-213, an d 
the second on page 30g. 

Art Craft and Life. A Chat with Mr. 
William Morris. " Daily Chronicle," 
October 9th, 1893. London. 

On the Printing of Books. Contribu- 
tion to the " Times," November 6th, 

Help for the Miners : the deeper mean- 
ing of the struggle. A letter addressed 
to the Editor of the " Daily Chronicle," 
November 10th, 1893. 

Appeared afterwards as a leaflet. 

Medieval Lore : Edited by Robert 
Steele. With a Preface by William 
Morris. London : Elliot Stock. 1893. 

More's "Utopia" (1893), Foreword to. 
By W. Morris. See Kelmscott Press 
Pubs. Bibl. 

Prospectus for Kelmscott Press Edition 
of " Sidonia the Sorceress." 1893. 

Early England. A Report of an Address 
by William Morris at the South London 
Art Gallery. " Daily Chronicle," Janu- 
ary 15th, 1894. 

The Proposed Addition to Westminster 
Abbey. A Letter to the Editor of the 
" Daily Chronicle," dated " Hammer- 
smith Feb. 26.", appeared February 
27th, 1894. 

The letter refers to Mr. Yates Thompson's pro- 
posals for a new mortuary chapel. 

Mr. Morris's " Chaucer." A Letter to 
the Editor of the "Daily Chronicle," 
dated " Hammersmith July 20," ap- 
peared July 24th, 1894. 

Some Notes on the Illuminated Books 
of the Middle Ages. By W. Morris. 
Illustrated. " Magazine of Art," Vol. 
XVII. (pp. 83-88), January, 1894. 

Peterborough Cathedral. A Letter to 
the Daily Papers. April 2nd, 1895. 

The letter appeared in "The Times," "Stan- 
dard," " Daily Chronicle," and " Morning Post." 

Tree-Felling in Epping Forest. A 
Letter to the Editor of the " Daily 
Chronicle," April 23rd, 1895. 
The letter is dated April 22nd, 1895. 

Epping Forest. Mr. Morris's Report. 
" Daily Chronicle," May gth, 1895. 

Signed " William Morris May 8th, 1895." 

On the Royal Tombs in Westminster 
Abbey. Letter to the " Times," June 
1st, 1895. 

" Wood beyond the World." A Let- 
ter to the Editor of the " Spectator," 
July 20th, 1895. 

Trinity Almshouses. A Letter to the 
" Daily Chronicle," dated " Hammer- 
smith Nov. 25, 1895." 

Reprinted in "The Trinity Hospital in Mile 
End," edited by C. R. Ashbee, and published 
by the Guild and School of'Handicraft. 

Gossip about an Old House on the Upper 
Thames. Illustrated. "The Quest," 
No. 4 (pp. 5-14). Birmingham, Novem- 
ber, 1895. 
The article is dated " Kelmscott October 25." 

Rouen Cathedral. A Letter to the 
" Daily Chronicle," October 12th, 1895. 

Peterborough Cathedral. A Letter to 
the " Daily Chronicle," December 5th, 


Chichester Cathedral. A Letter to the 
"Times," December 14th, 1895. 

Good King Wenceslas, a Carol. Written 
by Dr. Neale and pictured by Arthur J. 
Gaskin. With an Introductory Note 
by William Morris. 
Birmingham, Cornish Bros. 1895. 

On the Artistic Qualities of the Woodcut 
Books of Ulm and Augsburg in the Fif- 
teenth Century. ". Bibliographica," Vol. 
I. (pp. 437-455)- London, 1895-6. 

Contains nine reproductions of old wood-blocks. 


The Saga of Gunnlaug the Worm -tongue 
and Rafn the Skald. Translated by 
Eirikr Magnusson and William Morris. 
" Fortnightly Review," January, i86g 
(pp. 27-56). 

This story was included in the volume entitled 
"Three Northern Love Stories," 1875. 

The Story of Frithiof the Bold. Trans- 
lated from the Icelandic. "The Dark 
Blue." Vol.1. March to August, 1871. 
Chapters I.-X. (pp. 42-58). Chapters 
XI. -XV. (pp. 176-182). 
London : Sampson Low & Co. 1871. 

This story was included in the volume entitled 
"Three Northern Love Stories," 1875. 


Mr. Morris's Contributions began in 
No. 1 (January 19th, 1884), and con- 
tinued until No. 49 (December 20th, 

An Old Fable Retold. Vol. I., No. 1 (p. 2). January 
19th, 1884. 

The Principles of Justice. A leader signed by H. 
M. Hyndman, William Morris, J. Taylor. Vol. I., 
No. 1 (p. 4). January 19th, 1884. 

Report of a Lecture on " Useful Work versus Use- 
less Toil," delivered at Hampstead. Vol. I., No. 1 
(p. 6). January igth, 1884. 

Report of a Lecture on " Useful Work versus Use- 
less Toil," delivered at Manchester. Vol. I., No. 2 
(p. 7). January 26th, 1884. 

Report of a Lecture on "Art and Socialism," de- 
livered at Leicester. Vol. I., No. 3 (p. 7). February 
2nd, 1884. 

Order and Anarchy. An article. Vol. I., No. 4 
(p. 2). February 9th, 1884. 

The Bondholder's Battue. A leader signed by H. 
M. Hyndman and William Morris. Vol. I., No. 4 
{p. 4). February gtb, 1884. 

The Way Out. An Appeal to genuine Radicals. 

A signed leader. Vol. I., No. 7 (p. 4). March 1st, 


Art or No Art? Who Shall Settle it? A signed 

article. Vol. I , No. 9 (p. 2). March 15th, 1884. 

The Voice of Toil. Chants for Socialists. No. 2. 

Vol. I., No. 12 (p. 5). April 5th, 1884. 

Why Not ? A signed article on the Preservation 

of Commons. Vol. I., No. 13 (p. 2). April 12th, 


All for the Cause. Chants for Socialists. No. III. 

Vol. I., No. 14 (p. 5), April 19th, 1884. 

The Dull Level of Life. A signed leader. Vol. I., 

No. 15 (p. 4). April 26th, 1884. 

A Factory as it Might be. A signed article. Vol. I., 

No. 18 (p. 2). May 17th, 1884. 

Individualism at the Royal Academy. A signed 

leader. Vol. I., No. 19 (p. 4). May 24th, 1884. 

Work in a Factory as it Might be. II. A signed 

article. Vol. L, No. 20 (p. 2). May 31st, 1884. 

No Master. Chants for Socialists. No. IV. Vol.1., 

No. 21 (p. 5). June 7th, 1884. 

Work in a Factory as it Might be. III. A signed 

article. Vol. I., No. 24 (p. 2). June 28th, 1884. 

To Genuine Radicals. A signed leader. Vol. I., 

No. 26 (pp. 4, 5). July 12th, 1884. 

The Housing of the Poor. A signed leader. Vol.1., 

No. 27 (pp. 4, 5). July 19th, 1884. 

Socialism in England in 1884. A signed leader. 

Vol. I., No. 30 (p. 4). August 19th, 1884. 

Uncrowned Kings. A signed leader. Vol. I., 

No. 34 (p. 4). September 6th, 1884. 

The Hammersmith Costermongers. Vol. I., No. 
36 (p. 3). September 20th, 1884. 

An Appeal to the Just. A signed leader. Vol. I., 
No. 39 (p. 4). October nth, 1884. 

Literary Courtesy. A letter to the Editor. Vol. I., 
No. 39 (p. 6). October nth, 1884. 
The Lord Mayor's Show. A signed article. Vol.1., 
No. 44 {p. 2). November 15th, 1884. 

The Hackney Election. A signed leader. Vol. I., 
No. 46 (p. 4). November 29th, 1884. 
Philanthropists. A signed article. Vol. I., No. 49 
(p. 2). December 20th, 1884. 


(The Official Journal of the Socialist League,) 

From the first number, which is dated February, 
1885, to the last with which he had anything to do 
(December, 1890, Nos. 1-253), Mr. Morris acted 
either as editor or co-editor in the management of 
this periodical. In almost every issue he contri- 
buted editorial notes, with the headings, " Notes," 
" Notes on News," " Political Notes," " Notes on 
Passing Events," &c. These were sometimes 
S'gned with his full name, but oftener with the 
initials"W. M." Scattered here and there through- 
out the issues are minor notes, all initialled " W. 
M." Occasionally, during or after a lecturing tour, 
he would send on notes or impressions. These 
appear under the following headings in the issues 
as given: "Socialism in the Provinces" (No. 15, 
p. 30) ; " Socialism in Dublin and Yorkshire " (No. 
I 7i P- 43) > " A Letter from Scotland " (No. 25, pp. 
105, ic6) ; " The Sequel of the Scotch Letter " (No. 
26, p. 114) ; " Socialism Militant in Scotland " (No. 
117, pp. 106, 107)5 "In and about Cottonopolis" 
(No. 153, p. 396); "Impressions of the Paris Con- 
gress" (Nos. 185, 186, pp. 234, 242). 


With No. 16 " The Commonweal " commenced its 
weekly issue. With the issue for November 29th, 
iSgo, the journal ceased to be a weekly, and the 
next issue was for the month of December. The 
last contribution of Mr. Morris's which I can trace 
is in the issue for November 15th, r8go (No. 251). 
In this he has a leading article, entitled, " Where 
are we Now?" (pp. 361, 362), which contains the 
statement of his political and social opinions, and 
the reasons for the step he takes in separating him- 
self from the more "advanced" members of the 
Socialist body. "The Commonweal," after Mr. 
Morris left it, became the organ of the "Anarch- 
ists." It lived by fits and starts as a monthly, 
and finally became extinct in 1894. 
Mr. Morris's more important contributions to 
"The Commonweal" consist of political and social 
leaders, poems, stories, and articles on art. In 
conjunction with Dr. Aveling, E.Belfort Bax, and 
H. Halliday Sparling, he signed several editorials 
and special pronouncements of the Socialist 
League. Of them all I give herewith a complete 
list, arranged in chronological order : 

The March of the Workers. 

[A poem.] No. i,p. 4. 
[A poem.] 

The Message of the March Wind. 

No. 2, p. 13. 

This poem was made the first of a series, with 
the general title, " The-Pilgrims of Hope." In 
the following issues appeared the poems with a 
separate title to each: 

The Pilgrims of Hope. II. The Bridge and the 
Street. No. 3, p. 20. 

III. Sending to the War. No. 4, p. 32. 

IV. Mother and Son. No. 5, pp. 44, 45. 

V. The New Birth. No. 7, pp. 68, 6g. 

VI. The New Proletarian. No. 8, pp. 80, 81. 

VII. In Prison — and at Home. No. 10, pp. 96, §7. 

VIII. The Half of Life Gone. No. 12, p. 4. 

IX. A New Friend. No. 14, pp. 21, 22. 

X. Ready to Depart. No. 15, pp. 28, 29. 

XI. A Glimpse of the Coming Day. No. 17, p. 45. 

XII. Meeting the War Machine. No. 21, p. 75. 

XIII. The Story's Ending. No. 25, p. 107. 

The Worker's Share of Art. No. 3, pp. 18, 19. 

Unattractive Labour — Attractive Labour. Sup- 
plements to Nos. 4 and 5, pp. 37, 49, 50. 

Socialists at Play [a Poem]. No. 6, p. 56. 

Prologue spoken at the Entertainment of the 
Socialist League at South Place Institute, June 
11, 1885. 
Socialism and Politics (An Answer to "Another 
View"). [Article.] Supplement to No. 6, p. 61. 

A New Party. [Article.] Supplement to No. 8, 

p. 85. 

Ireland and Italy. A Warning. [Article.] No. 9, 

pp. 86, 87. 

A Letter from the Pacific Coast. [Article.] No. 13, 

P- 13- 

Our Policy. [Editorial.] No. 14, pp. 17, 18. 

Independent Ireland. [Leader.] No. 16, p. 36. 

Socialism from the Root Up. By E. Belfort Bax 

and William Morris. Appeared serially in Nos. 

18, ig, 20, 21, 22, 25, 28, 29, 31, 33, 35, 38, 42, 56, 5g, 

61, 63, 68, 80, 82, 113, 114, 121, 123. 

Our Representatives. [Leader.] No. ig, p. 68. 
Free Speech at Stratford. [Article.] No. 22, p. 87. 
Misanthropy to the Rescue. [Leader.] No. 23, 
p. 172. 

A Review of Mr. Wordsworth Donisthorpe's paper 
read by him at the Fabian Conference. No. 23, 
p. 172. 

The paper was printed in the " Anarchist." 

Whigs, Democrats, and Socialists. No. 24, pp. 

97, 98. No. 25, pp. 106, 107. 

Read at the Conference convened by the Fabian 
Society at South Place Institute, June n, 1886. 

[Leader.] No. 24, pp. 

Home Rule or Humbug. 
100, 101. 

' by Annie Besant. 

No. 27, 


No. 28, 

No. 29, 
No. 31, 

Review of" Modern Socialism' 

No. 26, p. 117. 

The Whig-Jingo Victory. [Editorial.] 

p. 121. 

" Cashel Byron's Profession,"byG. Bernard Shaw. 

A Review. No. 27, p. 126. 

What is to Happen Next? 

p. 129. 

Free Speech in the Streets. 

p. 137- 

Mr. Chamberlain's Leader. 

P- 153. 

The Abolition of Freedom of Speech in the Streets. 

[Editorial.] No. 32, p. 160. 

An Old Story Retold [A Tale]. No. 36, pp. 197, ig8. 

The Reward of "Genius." [Article.] No. 37, 

pp. 205, 206. 

A Dream of John Ball. Appeared serially in Nos. 

44. 45. 46, 47. 48, 49. 5°, 5 1 , 52, 53, 55- 

The Moral of Last Lord Mayor's Day. No. 45, 

p. 265. 

Mr. Jawkins at the Mansion House. No. 45, pp. 

268, 269. 

Remarks on a speech by Lord Salisbury. 

The Ten Commandments. No. 46, p. 276. 

A review of an article in the " Pall Mall Gazette." 

Is Trade Recovering? [Leader.] No. 50, p. 305. 

The Law in Ireland. [Editorial.] No. 50, p. 307. 

Words of Forecast for 1887. No. 52, p. g. (Signed 
" E. Belfort Bax, William Morris."} 

The Political Crisis. [Leader.] No. 53, p. 20. 

Facing the Worst of It. [Editorial.] No. 58, p. 60. 

Fighting for Peace. [Editorial.] No. 59, p. 68. 

Why we Celebrate the Commune of Paris. [Ar- 
ticle.] No. 62, pp. 88, 89. 

Law and Order in Ireland. [Leader.] No. 65, p. 113. 

Coercion for London. [Article.] No. 70, pp. 153, 


The Reward of Labour. A Dialogue. No. 71, p. 

165. No. 72, pp. 170, 171. 

How We Live and How we Might Live. Appeared 

in Nos. 73, 74, 75, 7$> 77- 

In a note Mr. Morris says, "This paper has 
been delivered as a lecture on several occasions, 
and I have been often asked to reprint it : hence 
its appearance in ' Commonweal.' " 

Common-Sense Socialism. By H. Kempner. A 

Review. No. 75, p. 197. 

An Old Superstition— A New Disgrace. [Leader.] 

No. 76, p. 204. 

The Boy-Farms at Fault. No. 81, p. 241. 

Bourgeois versus Socialist. [Leader.] No. 82, p. 



Feudal England. Nos. 84, 85, 86, 87, pp. 266, 267, 
274, 282, 2go, 291. 

Is Lipski's Confession Genuine? No. 85, p. 276. 
(Signed " E. Belfort Bax, William Morris.") 

Artist and Artisan. As an Artist sees it. No. 87, 
p. 291. 

Free Speech in America. [Leader.] No. 91, p. 324, 

Practical Politics at Nottingham. [Article.] No. 
94, p- 349- 

Honestyis the Best Policy; or, the Inconveniences 

of Stealing. [A Dialogue.] Nos. 95, g6, pp.356, 

357. 364, 365- 

London in a State of Siege. [Article.] No. 97, 

PP- 369, 370. 

Insurance against Magistrates. No. 98, p. 377. 

The Liberal Party Digging its own Grave. [Leader.] 
No. 98, p. 380. 

The Conscience of the Upper Classes. [Leader.] 
No. 101, p. 404. 

What 1887 has done. [Leader.] No. 104, pp. 4, 5. 

Radicals Look Round You! [Leader,] No. 105, 
pp. 12, 13. 

On Some "Practical" Socialists. [Leader.] No. 
no, pp. 52, 53- 

A Triple Alliance. [Leader.] No. 112, p. 68. 

The Reaction and the Radicals. [Article.] No. 
121, pp. 137, 138. 

The Skeleton at the Feast. [Leader.] No. 127, 
p. 188. 

Counting Noses. [Leader.] No. 128, p. ig6. 

Thoughts on Education and Capitalism. [Leader.] 
No. i2g, pp. 204, 205. 

The Revolt of Ghent. Nos. 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 
135. 136. 

Sweaters and Sweaters. No. 1. Matches by the 
Factory Drill. No. 132, pp. 225, 226. 

Socialistic Work at Norwich. [Leader.] No. 137, 
p. 268. 

A Modern Midas, [Leader.] No. 141, p. 300. 

Talk and Art. [Leader.] No. 154, p. 404. 

Whigs Astray. [A Dialogue.] Nos. 158, 159, pp. 
18, ig, 26, 27. 

Mine and Thine. [Translation of a poem written 
in Flanders in the 14th century. Two verses of 
ten lines each.] No. 164, p. 67. 

Songs for the Celebration. "All for the Cause." 

No. 166, p. 85. 
Thirty-two rhymed couplets written as a revo- 
lutionary song, " to be sung to the air composed 
for it by E. Belfort Bax," by the choir of the 
Socialist League, at South Place, on March 16th, 
1889. The occasion was the celebration of the 
anniversary of the Paris Commune. 

A Letter from William Morris, dated " Hammer- 
smith March 16th, i88g. 3 p.m.", addressed to the 
Chairman of the Meeting, Commune Celebration. 
No. 167, p. 91. 

The Society of the Future. Nos. 168, 169, 170, pp. 
g8, 99, 108, 109, 114, 115. 

Ducks and Fools. [A Fable, signed " W. M."] 
No. 169, p. 107. 

Correspondence. No. 175, p. 157. 

"A few thoughts suggested by reading the 
clauses of the Anarchist Congress at Valentia." 
In No. 177 appeared a reply to this, signed "J. 
Armsden," entitled, " Looking Forward." 

"Looking Backward." No. 180, pp. 194, 195. 

Under an Elm-Tree; or, Thoughts in the Country 

Side. No. 182, pp. 212, 213. 

Communism and Anarchism. [A Letter.] No. 188, 

p. 261. 

A Death Song. No. 202, p. 371. 

" Written to be sung at the funeral of Linnell, 
first victim of Bloody Sunday; reprinted by 
request." Four verses of eight lines each, with 
a refrain of a rhymed couplet. 

Monopoly. [Articles.] Nos. 204, 205, 206, pp. 388, 

389, 3g4, 401, 402. 

News from Nowhere: or, an Epoch of Rest. Being 

some chapters from a Utopian Romance. 

Appeared serially in Nos. 209, 210, 211,212, 213, 
214, 215, 216, 217, 218, 2ig, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 
225, 226, 227, 228, 22g, 230, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 
236, 237, 238, 23g, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 
and 247. 

Fabian Essays in Socialism. [A Review by way 
of Editorial.] No. 211, pp. 28, 29. 

Coal in Kent. [Article.] No. 217, pp. 77. 
Christianity and Socialism. [A Letter.] No. 217, 
P- 77- 
Labour Day. [Article.] No. 225, p. 137. 

The " Eight Hours " and the Demonstration. 
[Leader.] No. 227, p. 153. 

Anti-Parliamentary. [Leader.] No. 230, pp. 180, 


The Development of Modern Society. Nos. 236, 

237, 238; 239, and 240. 

Workhouse Socialism. [Leader.] No. 251, pp. 
345, 346. 

Where are we Now ? [Leader.] No. 253, pp. 361, 

Note. — " Hapless Love," a poem, appeared origin- 
ally in " Good Words" (pp. 264-265), April, 1869. 
Since going to press I learn that two poems, 
"The Voice of Toil" and "The Day of Days," 
both in "Poems by the Way," were reprinted 
as a leaflet and distributed to those attending 
a meeting of the South Place Ethical Society on 
February 21st, i8g7 ; on that occasion Dr. Stanton 
Coit lectured on William Morris. 
In 1871 Mr. Morris had set up the first page of 
his then forthcoming poem, "Love is Enough," 
with ornament engraved by himself from his own 
design. The work, however, was never com- 
pleted, and only those copies struck off as speci- 
mens now remain in the possession of a few 
friends and collectors. 

In November, i8go, that is, just before the Kelms- 
cott Press was established, Mr. Morris had printed 
for himself, at the Chiswick Press, " The Story of 
Gunnlaug Worm-tongue." The book was printed 
in the Press's special Caxton type, and consisted 
of eight sheets, pott 4to. in size. There were 
seventy-five copies printed on hand-made paper, 
and three on vellum. Blank spaces were left for 
rubricated initials; but the edition was never 



Criticisms on Contemporaries. No. III. 
Mr. William Morris. " Tinsley's Maga- 
zine," Vol. III. (pp. 262-277). October, 

William Morris. Portrait. " Once a 
Week," Vol. XXVII. (p. 148). 1873. 

William Morris. [An Appreciation.] 
By R. H. Stoddard. With portrait. 
"Appleton's Journal," Vol. VII. (p. 673). 

Our Modern Poets. No. XII. William 
Morris. By Thomas Bayne. " St. 
James's Magazine," Vol. XLII. [Vol. 
XXXIII.] (pp. 94-107). January, 1878. 

William Morris, M.A. [Contemporary 
Portraits.] With photograph. " Dublin 
University Magazine," New Series. 
Vol. II. (pp. 552-568). November, 1878. 

Hopes and Fears for Art. [A Review.] 
"Century Magazine," Vol. XXIV. (pp. 
464, 465). July, 1882. 

On the Wandle. [An Article on Mr. 
Morris's Factory.] " Spectator," Vol. 
LVI. (pp. 1507-1509). London. Novem- 
ber 24th, 1883. 

A Prophet among the Painters. [By 
W. J. Stillman.] " Nation," Vol. 
XXXIX. (pp. 240, 241) (September 18th, 
1884), (pp. 261, 262) (September 25th, 1884). 

William Morris at Work. "American 
Architect," Vol. XVII. (p. 296). 1884. 

William Morris and Socialism. " The 
Critic " (U.S.A.), Vol. VII. (pp. 176, 213). 

A Day in Surrey with William Morris. 
By Emma Lazarus. With portrait by 
Lisa Stillman, and illustrations by 
Joseph Pennell and W. J. Stillman. 
" Century Magazine," Vol. XXXII. (pp. 
388-397). July, 1886. 

As a footnote in one of the pages of this article 
is a letter from Mr. Morris to Miss Lazarus, 
dated April 21st, 1884, on profit-sharing. In the 
same issue is an editorial, headed, " Negation 
not a Remedy," by way of a criticism on Mr. 
Morris's views on the Labour Question. 

William Morris as a Political Revolu- 
tionist. "Saturday Review," Vol. LXV. 
(p. 607). 1888. 

The Art Socialists 
Mary Bacon Ford, 
portrait of Morris, 
(pp. 185-190). 1889. 

of London. By 
Illustrated with 
" Cosmopolitan " 

Free Studies from Life. III. William 
Morris. By J. Morrison Davidson. 
" The Star," August 16th, 1890. With 
a portrait of W. Morris. One column. 

William Morris. By R. M. Lovett. 
" Harvard Monthly," Vol. XII. (p. 149). 

On William Morris : a Poem. By A. 
E. Cross. " New England Magazine," 
Vol. III. (p. 731). February, 1891. 

William Morris. By W. Clarke. " New 
England Magazine " (Mass.) N. S., 
Vol. III. (p. 740). February, 1891. 

William Morris. By M. Hewlett. 
" National Review," Vol. XVII. (p. 818). 
August, 1891. 

Poet as Printer : Interview with Wil- 
liam Morris. " Pall Mall Gazette," 
November 12th, 1891. 

Three English Poets. By Louise C. 
Moulton. "Arena" (U.S.A.), Vol. VI. 
(p. 46). June, 1892. 

William Morris. By F. Richardson. 
" Primitive Methodist Quarterly Re- 
view " (U.S.A.), Vol. XXXIV. (p. 414). 
July, 1892. 

Some Thoughts upon Beauty in Typo- 
graphy suggested by the Work of Mr. 
William Morris at the Kelmscott Press. 
With initial, tailpiece, and illustrations 
in facsimile of the work of the Kelm- 
scott Press. By G. Francis Watt Lee. 
" The Knight Errant " (Boston, U.S.A.), 
Vol. I., No. 2 (pp. 53-63). 1892. 

Master Printer Morris. Interview with 
Mr. William Morris. " Daily Chro- 
nicle," February 22nd, 1893. 

The Socialist Thread in the Life and 
Work of William Morris. By Professor 
O. L. Triggs. "Poet Lore " (U.S.A.), 
Vol. V. (p. 113). March, 1893— Vol. V. 
(p. 210). April, 1893. 

Art, Craft, and Life. Interview with 
Mr. William Morris. " Daily Chro- 
nicle," October 9th, 1893. 

An English Socialist [William Morris]. 
" London Quarterly," Vol. XXII. (p. 
83). April, 1894. 

On the Revival of Tapestry-Weaving. 
An Interview with William Morris. 
By Aymer Vallance. Illustrated. 
" Studio," Vol. III. (p. 99). July, 1894. 


M. William Morris et l'Art decoratif en 
Angleterre — par Jean Lahor (Dr. Henri 
Cazalis). Illustrated. " Revue Ency- 
clopedique," 15 Aout, 1894. Vol. IV., 
No. 89 (pp. 349-359)- 

The Esthetes. By Thomas F. Plow- 
man. " Pall Mall Magazine," January, 
1895 (pp. 27-44), with portrait of Morris, 
after a drawing by Miss C. M. Watts. 

William Morris at the Kelmscott Press. 
Illustrated. " English Illustrated Maga- 
zine," Vol. XIII. (p. 47). April, 1895. 

Gossip about an Old House on the 
Upper Thames. "The Quest," No. 4. 
November, 1895. Birmingham. 

An illustrated article by William Morris, occu- 
pying the first fourteen pages of the issue. Re- 
printed with an illustration of a reduction of the 
first page of the Kelmscott " Chaucer" in " Bradley 
His Book." Vol. I., No. II. (pp. 27-32), Spring- 
field, Mass., U.S.A. June, r8g6. 

William Morris in Unpublished Letters 
on Socialism ; a Poet's Politics, by 
W. G. Kingsland. " Poet Lore," Vol. 
VII. (pp. 473, 543). October and Novem- 
ber, 1895. 

The Kelmscott Press of William Morris. 
With a Bibliography by Ernest Dressel 
North. "The Book Buyer" (New 
York, U.S.A.) November, 1895. 

The Kelmscott Press. An Illustrated 
Interview with Mr. William Morris. 
Portrait and reproductions. By I. H. I. 
[Temple Scott.] " Bookselling," Christ- 
mas, 1895 (pp. 2-14). 

Contains a Bibliography of the Kelmscott Press 

The Kelmscott Press. Being part of a 
paper read at the Philobiblon Club at 
Philadelphia, and including an unpub- 
lished account of the press written 
specially for the occasion by Mr. Morris 
himself. " Modern Art " (Boston, 
U.S.A.) (pp. 36-39). April 1st, 1896. 

William Morris. [Obituary Notice.] 
" The Times," October 5th, 1896. 

William Morris : an Appreciation. By 
Joseph Pennell, "The Daily Chronicle," 
October 5th, 1896. 

Death of William Morris. " The Stand- 
ard," October 5th, 1896. 

William Morris. [Leader.] " Pall 
Mall Gazette," October 5th, i8g6. 

William Morris. By Edmund Gosse. 
" St. James's Gazette," October 5th, 

William Morris. Personal Character- 
istics. " St. James's Gazette," October 
5th, 1896. 

William Morris — a Few Reminiscences. 
By " A Comrade." " Westminster Ga- 
zette," October 5th, 1896. 

Recollections of William Morris. By 
One who Knew Him. " The Daily 
Chronicle," October 6th, 1896. 

William Morris as a Socialist. By G. 
Bernard Shaw. " The Daily Chronicle," 
October 6th, 1896. 

William Morris. By Richard Le Gal- 
lienne. " The Star," October 7th, i8g6. 

Mr. 'William Morris. By Theodore 
Watts - Dunton. "The Athenaeum," 
No. 3598 (pp. 486-488). October 10th, 

William Morris. I. Morris as Actor 
and Dramatist. By G. B. S. [George 
Bernard Shaw.] II. Morris as Poet. 
By Arthur Symons. III. With the 
North-West Wind. By R. B. Cunning- 
hame-Graham. " Saturday Review," 
No. 2137 (pp. 385-390). October 10th, 

William Morris. " The Spectator," 
No. 3563 (pp. 478, 479). October 10th, 

■William Morris. By H. Buxton-For- 
man. " Illustrated London News," 
October 10th, i8g6. 

A Literary Causerie. Mr. William 
Morris. By A. T. Q. C. [A. T. Quiller- 
Couch.] "The Speaker," No. 354 (pp. 
3gi, 392). October 10th, i8g6. 

In Memoriam : William Morris. [A 
Poem.] ByS. E.W. "The Speaker," 
No. 354 (p. 3gi). October 10th, 1896. 

The Late William Morris, Art Crafts- 
man and Poet. By Aymer Vallance. 
" The Artist." (Arts and Crafts Special 
Number.) (Pp. 1-8.) October 12th, 1896. 

Illustrated with two portraits and views of 

Mr. William Morris on the Platform. 
Some Reminiscences by One who Knew 
Him. " Daily News," October 14th, 


English Interiors — William Morris and 
his Influence. A Chat with Mr. Walter 
Crane. " Daily News," October 20th, 

William Morris as Printer. By Herbert 
P. Home. " Saturday Review," Vol. 
LXXXII. (pp. 438, 439). October 24th, 

In Memoriam. William Morris. "The 
Marlburian," Vol. XXXI., No. 490 (pp. 
153, 154), Marlborough. October 28th, 

William Morris : a Eulogy. By J. Mac- 
kenzie Bell. " Fortnightly Review " 
(pp. 693-702). November, 1896. 

■William Morris. By Walter Crane. 
" The Progressive Review," No. 2. 
November, 1896. 

The End of the Kelmscott Press. "The 
Academy," No. 1284 (p. 530). December 
12th, 1896. 

William Morris. By Edward Carpenter. 
" The Labour Leader," with portrait 
supplement. December 19th, 1896. 

Appeared in the Christmas number of " The 
Labour Leader." 

William Morris : an Appreciation. By 
Rev. A. L. Lilley. " The Common- 
wealth," December, i8g6. 

William Morris. By Herbert P. Home. 
"Saturday Review" (pp. 1-4. First 
Illustrated Supplement). Christmas, 

The article is illustrated with a portrait of Wil- 
liam Morris, reproduced in half-tone, from the 
painting by G. F. Watts, R.A. 

William Morris. By Aymer Vallance. 
"The Artist," Special Arts and Crafts 
Number, 1896. 

Illustrated with a portrait and picture of Kelm- 
scott Manor, from photographs by Mr. Frederick 

William Morris : The Man and his 
Work. By William Sharp. " Atlantic 
Monthly" (Boston, U.S.A.) (pp. 768- 
781). December, 1896. 

William Morris— The Poet. By J. J. C. 
— The Printing of William Morris. By 
Theo. L. De Vinne. — Addendum of 
Bibliography of the Kelmscott Press 
Publications. By Ernest Dressel North. 
— Some Memories of William Morris. 
By Katherine Tynan. " The Book 
Buyer " (New York, U.S.A.), Vol. XIII., 
No. 12 (pp. 917-926). January, 1897. 

Illustrated with portrait, view of Kelmscott 
Manor, and specimens of Kelmscott printing. 

Originality in Printing. "The Inland 
Printer" (Chicago, U.S. A.), Vol. XVIII., 
No. 4 (pp. 413, 414). January, 1897. 
A "leader" on Kelmscott Press work. 

Recollections of William Morris. " The 
Artist," No. 206 (pp. 61-64). February, 

With illustrations. 

William Morris : a Memory, Personal 
and Otherwise. By J. C. Kenworth. 
" The New Century Review," No. 1, 
(pp. 77-82), January, 1897 — No. 2 (pp. 
124-132), February, 1897. 

William Morris, Poet and Revolutionist. 
By D. F. Hannigan. " Westminster 
Review," Vol. CXLVIL, No. 2 (pp. 117- 
119). February, 1897. 

The Recent Revival in Printing and its 
Development in 1896. By L. B. " The 
Literary Year Book, 1897 " (PP- 140-146). 
Edited by F. G. Aflalo. George Allen, 

Wm. Morris : Master Printer. Frank 

[Colophon :] Tunbridge 'Wells : Lewis 
Hepworth and Company, Limited, Prin- 
ters and Publishers. 

Cr. 8vo, n.d. Green boards, portrait of William 
Morris (reproduced by permission of "The Daily 
Chronicle") as frontispiece, one leaf; title, one 
leaf; dedication, one leaf, -f pp. 1-40 (last leaf 
containing imprint only) + 1 blank leaf. With 
three portraits in the text of Caxton, Wynkyn de 
Worde, and Caslon I. 


The Defence of Guenevere, and other 
Poems. By William Morris. [A Re- 
view.] " Athenaeum" (pp. 427, 428). 
April 3rd, 1858. 

The Life and Death of Jason: a Poem. 
By 'William Morris. [A Review.] 
" Athenaeum " (pp. 779, 780). June 15th, 

Life and Death of Jason. [A Review.] 
By A. C. Swinburne. " Fortnightly 
Review," Vol. VIII. (pp. 19-28). July 
1st, 1867. 

The same article was reprinted in the American 
"Every Saturday," Vol. IV. (p. 115.) 

Life and Death of Jason. [A Review by 
Prof. C. E. Norton.] " Nation," Vol. 
V. (pp. 146, 147). August 22nd, 1867. 


Life and Death of Jason. [A Review.] 
By Henry James. North American 
Review. Vol. CV. (p. 688). 

The Earthly Paradise : a Poem. By 
William Morris. [A Review.] " Athe- 
naeum " (pp. 753, 754). May 30th, 1868. 

A letter concerning the announcement of the 
" Athenaeum's " on this book, by William 
Morris, is in the issue for April 25th, 1868 (p. 593). 
The above review was reprinted in " Littell's 
Living Age," Vol. XCVIII. (pp. 74-78). Boston. 
July 4th, 1868. 

The Earthly Paradise. [A Review.] 

".Saturday Review," Vol. XXV. (pp. 

73°> 73 1 )- May 30th, 1868. 

This review was reprinted in the " Eclectic 

Magazine," Vol. LXXIV. (pp. 437-440). New 

York, April, 1870. 

The Earthly Paradise. [A Review.] 
By W. H. Browne. " Southern Review," 
N. S., Vol. IV. (p. 383). Charleston, 

An article by the same writer on the same 
subject appeared in the " New Eclectic, " Vol. 
VI. (p. 578). Baltimore. 

The Earthly Paradise. " Edinburgh 
Review," Vol. CXXXIII. (pp. 243-266). 
Edinburgh, January, 1871. 

The Earthly Paradise. A Review of. 
" Quarterly Review," Vol. CXXXII. 

(PP- 59-84). London, January, 1872. 

The same article appeared in the " Eclectic 
Magazine " (N.Y.), Vol. LXXVIII. (p. 386). Also 
in "Every Saturday" (U.S.A.), Vol. XIII. (p. 

Love is Enough : or, the Freeing of 
Pharamond : a Morality. By William 
Morris. [A Review.] " Athenaeum " 
(pp. 657, 658). November 23rd, 1872. 

Love is Enough. [A Review.] " Dark 
Blue," Vol. IV. (p. 627). London. 

An article in review of this poem appeared in the 
" Southern Magazine," Vol. XII. (p. 491). It was 
written by W. H. Browne. 

The Aeneids of Virgil, done into English 
Verse. By 'William Morris. [A Re- 
view by H. Nettleship.] "Academy," 
Vol. VIII. (pp. 493, 494). November 
13th, 1875. 

The Story of Sigurd the Volsung. [A 
Review by Professor Henry Morley, in 
an article entitled " Recent Literature."] 
" Nineteenth Century," Vol. II. (pp. 
704-712). London, November, 1877. 

" Sigurd " and the " Nibelungenlied." 
By Henry G. Hewlett. " Fraser's 
Magazine," Vol. CVI. (pp. 96-112). July, 


Hopes and Fears for Art. [A Review by 
E. Simcox.] " Fortnightly Review," 
Vol. XXXVII. (p. 771). 

Hopes and Fears for Art : Five Lec- 
tures. - By W. Morris. [A Review.] 
"Athenaeum" (pp.374, 375). September 
16th, 1882. 

Poems of William Morris. Selections 
from, in " Living English Poets." 
London : Kegan Paul and Co. 1883. 
(pp. 214-233). 

The selections are from " Guenevere," " Jason," 
"The Earthly Paradise," and "Love is Enough." 

The Odyssey of Homer. Done into 
English Verse by William Morris. [A 
Review by E. D. A. Morshead.] " Aca- 
demy," Vol. XXXI. (p. 299). April 30th, 

"Esthetic Poetry," by W. H. Pater, 
in the volume " Appreciations " (pp. 
213-227). London : Macmillan and Co. 
1889. Sm. 8vo. 

The article itself is dated 1868. It forms a 
review of Mr. Morris's "Defence of Guenevere," 
"Jason," and " The Earthly Paradise." 

The House of the Wolfings. [A Re- 
view.] By Charles Elton. "Academy," 
Vol. XXXV. (pp. 85, 86). London, 
February 9th, 1889. 

A Tale of the House of the Wolfings. 
A Review by Henry G. Hewlett. 
"Nineteenth Century," Vol. XXVI. (pp. 
337-341). London, August, 1889. 

The House of the Wolfings. [A Re- 
view.] " Athenaeum," Vol. II. (1889) 
(pp. 347-350). London, September 14th, 

The House of the Wolfings. [A Re- 
view.] " Atlantic Monthly," Vol. LXV. 
(p. 851). 

The House of the Wolfings. [A Re- 
view.] "Saturday Review," Vol. LXVII. 
(p. 101). London. 

William Morris and the Meaning of 

Life. By F. W. Myers. " Nineteenth 

Century," Vol.XXXIII. (p.93). January, 


A Priest of Gothic. A Review of Gothic 

Architecture, a Lecture by W. Morris. 

" Daily Chronicle," January 2nd, 1894. 

Poetry of William Morris. By G. 
Saintsbury. "The Critic" (U.S.A.), 
Vol. XXV. (p. 101). August 18th, 1894. 


William Morris's Last Work. A Re- 
view of " The Well at the World's 
End." "Daily Chronicle," October igth, 

Mr. William Morris's Story. [A Re- 
view of" The Roots of the Mountains."] 
" Spectator," Vol. LXIV. (pp. 208, 209). 
London, February 8th, 1890. 

News from Nowhere. By William 
Morris. [A Review by Lionel Johnson 
of Mr. Morris's Socialistic Views.] 
"Academy," Vol. XXXIX. (pp. 483,484). 
May 23rd, i8gi. 

News from Nowhere. A Review. 
" Review of Reviews," Vol. III. (p. 
509). May, 1891. 

News from Nowhere. [A Review.] 
By M. Hewlett. " National Review," 
Vol. XVII. (p. 818). 

Poems by the Way. [A Review.] 
"Athenaeum" (pp. 336-338). March 
12th, 1892. 

Socialism, its Growth and Outcome by 
W. Morris and E. Belfort Bax. [A Re- 
view.] " Athenaeum " (p. 695). Novem- 
ber 18th, 1893. 

The Wood beyond the World. By 
William Morris. [A Review.] " Athe- 
naeum " (pp. 273, 274). March 2nd, 

The Tale of Beowulf, some time King 
of the Folk of the Weden Geats. Done 
out of the Old English tongue by 
William Morris and A. J. Wyatt. [A 
Review (by Theodore Watts-Dunton.)] 
" Athenaeum " (pp. 181, 182). August 
10th, 1895. 

Poems by William Morris. [A Review 
of " Guenevere," "Jason," and "The 
Earthly Paradise."] " Westminster 
Review," Vol. XC. (pp. 300-312). Octo- 
ber, 1868. 

■William Morris and Matthew Arnold. 
A Letter from a Hermitage. By Shirley 
[J. Skelton]. " Fraser's Magazine," 
Vol. LXXIX. (pp. 230-244). February, 

Morris's Poems. [A Review.] " Black- 
wood's Magazine," Vol. CVI. (pp. 56- 
73). Edinburgh, July, 1869. 

A Review of " The Life and Death of Jason," 
and " The Earthly Paradise." 
The same article appeared in Little's " Living 
Age," Vol. CI I. (p. 399). 

The Poetry of the Period. Mr. Matthew 
Arnold. Mr. Morris. " Temple Bar," 
Vol. XXVII. (pp. 35-50). August, 1869. 

Morris's Poetry. [A Review of " The 
Defence of Guenevere," "The Life and 
Death of Jason," and " The Earthly 
Paradise." " London Quarterly Re- 
view," Vol. XXXIII. (pp. 330-360). 
January, 1870. 

Morris's Poems. [A Review of "Jason" 
and " The Earthly Paradise."] " The 
Christian Observer," Vol. LXX. (pp. 
196-208). London, March, 1870. 

The Poetry of William Morris. [A 
Review by D. Casserly.] " The Catholic 
World," Vol. XII. (pp. 89-98). New 
York, October, 1870. 

The Later Labours of William Morris. 
" Tinsley's Magazine," Vol. VII. (pp. 
457-465). November, 1870. 

A Review of " Grettis Saga," "The Saga of 
Gunnlaug," "The Earthly Paradise " (Pt. III.), 
and " Volsunga Saga." 

Geoffrey Chaucer and William Morris. 
" New Monthly Magazine," Vol. 
CXLIX. (pp. 280-286). September, 1871. 

The Poems of Mr. Morris. By Henry 
G. Hewlett. " Contemporary Review," 
Vol. XXV. (pp. 100-124). London, 
December, 1874. 

A Review of "The Defence of Guenevere and 
other Poems," "The Life and Death of Jason," 
"The Earthly Paradise," and "Love is Enough." 

The Poems of William Morris. By 
R. K. Weekes. " New England Maga- 
zine," Vol. XXX. (p. 557). Boston 

The Poetry of William Morris. By 
Andrew Lang. " Contemporary Re- 
view," Vol. XLII. (pp. 200-217). Lon- 
don, August, 1882. 

Erlanger Beitrage zur Englischen Philo- 
logie. Herausgegeben von Hermann 
Varnhagen. IX. Heft. Die Quellen 
von William Morris' Dichtung The 
Earthly Paradise von Julius Riegel. 
Erlangen & Leipzig . . . 1890. 8vo. 

4 prel. leaves of titles and contents, + 76 pp. 
bound in yellow wrapper. 

William Morris's Last Work. " Daily 
Chronicle," October 19th, 1896. 
A Review of " The Well at the World's End." 

Mr. Morris's Poems. By Andrew Lang. 
" Longman's Magazine," October, 1896. 



William Morris, Poet and Craftsman. 
" Edinburgh Review " (pp. 63-83). Janu- 
ary, 1897. 

AReviewof the " Poetical Works of W. Morris," 
"Gothic Architecture," and "Hopes and Fears 
for Art." 

The Well at the World's End : a Tale 
[a Review]. "The Athenaeum," No. 
3617 (pp. 237-239). February 20th, 1897. 

Two Papers on Mr. Morris's Poetry in 
"Corrected Impressions," by George 

Our Living Poets, By H. Buxton For- 
man. XIV. William Morris. (Pp. 375- 
426.) London : Tinsley Brothers. 1871. 
Sm. 8vo. 

" Victorian Literature" in the volume, 
" Transcripts and Studies," by Profes- 
sor E. Dowden (pp. 153-256). London : 
Kegan Paul and Co. 1880. Sm. 8vo. 
A criticism on Mr. Morris's poetry. 

William Morris. By H. Buxton For- 
man. An article of 14 pages, with a 
selection from the Works of Mr. Morris 
(pp. 15-80) in " The Poets and the 
Poetry of the Century." Edited by 
Alfred H. Miles. Vol. [William Morris 
to Robert Buchanan.] London, n.d. 


The Story of the Glittering | Plain. 
Which has been also | called the Land 
of Living | men or the Acre of the un- 
] dying, written by William | Morris. 
[Colophon] Here endeth the Glittering 
Plain, printed by William Morris at the 
Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, Hammer- 
smith, in the County of Middlesex : and 
finished on the 4th day of April of the 
year 1891. Sold by Reeves & Turner, 
196 Strand, London. 

Small 4to., vellum. Four blank leaves; title 
and table of chapters, one leaf; b — b b in fours 
{last two leaves blank, and one blank leaf as end- 

zoo printed on paper at £2 2s. each, and 6 on 

Poems by the Way. Written | by 
William Morris. 

[Colophon] Here endeth Poems by the 
Way, written by William Morris, and 
printed by him at the Kelmscott Press, 
Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in the 

County of Middlesex ; and finished on 
the 24th day of September of the year 

1891. Sold by Reeves & Turner, 196, 
Strand, London. 

Small 4to., vellum. 3 blank leaves; title, one 
leaf; contents, one leaf ; b — o in eights (last four 
leaves blank). 

In all the publications of this Press it must be 
noted that the paste-downs on the covers form 
part of the signatures. I have not always in- 
cluded these leaves in my collations, in order to 
avoid repetition, but I give the fact to account 
for the odd number of blank leaves. 
300 printed on paper at £2 2s. each, in black and 
red, and 13 on vellum. 

The Love Lyrics & Songs of Proteus by 
Wilfrid Scawen | Blunt with the Love 
Son- I nets of Proteus by the same | 
Author now reprinted in | their full text 
with many | sonnets omitted from the | 
earliereditions. | London MDCCCXCII. 
[Colophon] Here end the Love-Lyrics 
and Songs of Proteus, written by Wil- 
frid Scawen Blunt : with the Love- 
Sonnets of Proteus by the same author. 
Printed by William Morris at the Kelm- 
scott Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, 
in the County of Middlesex, and finished 
on the 26th day of January of the year 

1892. Sold by Reeves and Turner, 196, 
Strand, London. 

Small 4to., vellum. Three blank leaves; title, 

one leaf; contents, 4 leaves ; b — r in eights (last 

two leaves blank). There is a separate title to 

each of the four parts into which the poems are 


300 printed in black and red on paper at £2 2s. 


The Nature of Gothic a chap- | ter of 
the Stones of Venice | by John Rus- 
kin. I 

[Colophon] Here ends the Nature of 
Gothic, by John Ruskin, printed by 
William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 
Hammersmith, and published by George 
Allen, 8, Bell Yard, Temple Bar, Lon- 
don, and Sunnyside, Orpington. 

Small 4to., vellum. Four blank leaves ; title, 

one leaf (with preface beginning on verso); pt. 

of preface, 2 leaves; b — i in eights + 3 blank 


500 printed at 30s. each. Issued February t5tb, 


The Defence of Guenevere, | and other 
Poems. By William Morris. 
[Colophon] Here ends the Defence of 
Guenevere, and other Poems, written 
by William Morris ; and printed by him 
at the Kelmscott Press, 14 Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Middle- 
sex : & finished on the 2nd day of April, 






of the year 1892. Sold by Reeves and 
Turner, 196, Strand, London. 

Small 4to., vellum. Four blank leaves ; title and 
contents, 1 leaf; b — m 6 in eights (last leaf 
blank) + 3 blank leaves. 

300 printed in black and red on paper at £2 2s, 
each, and 10 on vellum. 

A Dream of [ John Ball | and a King's | 
Lesson. By William Morris. | 
[Colophon] This book, A Dream of John 
Ball and a King's Lesson, was written 
by William Morris, and printed by him 
at the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Middle- 
sex ; and finished on the 13th day of 
May, 1892. Sold by Reeves & Turner, 
196, Strand, London. 

Small 4to., vellum. Five blank leaves ; title, one 
leaf; frontispiece by E. Burne-Jones, one leaf; 
b — i 6 in eights + 3 blank leaves. 
300 printed in black and red on paper at 30^. 
each, and 11 on vellum. 

The Golden | Legend | of Master | Wil- 
liam I Caxton I done anew. | 
[Colophon] Here ends this new edition 
of William Caxton's Golden Legend : in 
which there is no change from the origi- 
nal, except for correction of errors of 
the press, & some few other amend- 
ments thought necessary for the under- 
standing of the text. It is edited by 
Frederick S. Ellis, & printed by me 
William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 
Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in the 
County of Middlesex, and finished on 
the 12th day of September of the year 
1892. Sold by Bernard Quaritch, 15, 
Piccadilly, London. 

3 vols. Large 4to. 

Vol. I. — 2 blank leaves; title on sig. ai; sig a, 7 

leaves, incl. title (the eighth leaf is cut off by 

binders); b — g g in eights + 2 blank leaves. 

Vol. II.— One blank leaf; title, one leaf; hh— 

i i i, in eights + 2 blank leaves. 

Vol. III.— One blank leaf; title, one leaf; kkk 

— n n n n in eights (last leaf cut off to go under 

the paste-down) + 1 blank leaf. 

500 printed on paper at ^5 5s. each, with two 

woodcuts designed by E. Burne-Jones. 

The I Recuyell | of the ] Historyes | of 
Troye. | 

[Colophon] Here ends this new edition 
of William Caxton's Recuyell of the 
Historyes of Troy', done after the first 
Edition : corrected for the press by H. 
Halliday Sparling, and printed by me 
William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 
Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in the 
County of Middlesex, & finished on the 
fourteenth day of October, 1892. Sold 
by Bernard Quaritch, 15, Piccadilly. 

2 vols. Large 410., vellum. Vol. I.— Three 

blank leaves ; title on sig. a i (unsigned) ; a ii — 

u in eights (last three leaves blank). 

Vols. II. and III. (in 1 book).— Three blank 

leaves ; x — b b b in eights (one leaf cut off in the 

binding and 5 blank). 

300 printed on paper at £g gs, each, and 5 on 


Biblia Innocentium : | being the story 
of God's cho I sen people before the 
com I ing of our Lord Jesus Christ | 
upon earth, written anew | for children 
by J. W. Mackail, | sometime fellow of 
Balliol I College, Oxford. [ 
[Colophon] Here ends this book called 
Biblia Innocentium, written by J. W. 
Mackail, and printed by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press, 14, Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex ; finished on the 22nd day of 
October, of the year 1892. 

8vo., vellum. Two preliminary blank leaves ; 
title, one leaf; List of Chapters, 4 leaves; b — r 
in eights (last three leaves blank, including end- 
paper and paste-down). 
200 printed at 21s. each. 

News from Nowhere : or, | An Epoch 
of Rest, being some | Chapters from 
a Utopian Ro [ mance, by William 

[Colophon] This book, News from No- 
where or an Epoch of Rest, was written 
by William Morris, and printed by him 
at the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex, and finished on the 22nd day of 
November, 1892. Sold by Reeves and 
Turner, 196, Strand, London. 

Small 4to., vellum. Four blank leaves ; title, 
one leaf; contents, one leaf; frontispiece, by 
C. M. Gere, one leaf; b — x in eights (last six 
leaves blank, and the eighth used as paste- 

300 printed in black and red on paper at £2 2s, 
each, and 10 on vellum. 

The I History | of | Reynard I theFoxe I 
[Colophon] Here ends the History of 
Reynard the Foxe, done into English 
out of Dutch by William Morris, at the 
Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, Hammer- 
smith, in the County of Middlesex. 
This book was corrected for the press 
by Henry Halliday Sparling, and fin- 
ished on the 15th day of December, 1892. 
Sold by Bernard Quaritch, 15, Picca- 
dilly, London. 

Folio, vellum. Three blank leaves ; printed 
title, one leaf; table and ornamental title, 2 
leaves; b — m in eights (one leaf has been cut off 
short before the " table of some strange words," 
five leaves are blank, and two of these are used 
as end-paper and paste-down). 
300 printed on paper at £3 3*. each, and 10 on 





The Poems of William Shakespeare, 
Printed after the original | copies of 
Venus and Adonis, 1593. | The Rape o 
Lucrece, 1594. | Sonnets 1609. | The 
Lovers Complaint. | 

[Colophon] Here ends the edition of 
Shakespeare's Poems, edited by Frede- 
rick S. Ellis and printed by me William 
Morris at the Kelmscott Press, Upper 
Mall, Hammersmith, in the County of 
Middlesex, and finished on the 17th day 
of January, 1893. Sold by Reeves and 
Turner, 196 Strand. 
8vo., vellum. Three blank leaves; Foreword, 
one leaf; title, one leaf; title to "Venus and 
Adonis," one leaf; b — p in eights (sig. p5 has 
printer's mark, sigs. p 6, p 7, p 8, are blank) + 2 
blank leaves. This is an exact reprint of the 
first editions. 

500 printed in black and red on paper at 25*. 
each, and 10 on vellum. 

The I Order of | Chivalry [ —[and]— The 
Ordination of Knighthood. 
[Colophon] The Order of Chivalry, 
translated from the French by William 
Caxton, edited by F. S. Ellis, & printed 
by me William Morris at the Kelmscott 
Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in 
the County of Middlesex, & finished on 
the 10th day of November, 1892. Sold 
by Reeves & Turner, ig6, Strand, Lon- 

[Colophon] This Ordination of Knight- 
hood was printed by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press, Uppex Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex ; finished on the 24th day of Feb- 
ruary, 1893. 
Small 4to., vellum. Two blank leaves ; title and 
part of table, one leaf; frontispiece by Burne- 
Jones, with remainder of table on recto, one 
leaf; b — 1 in eights + 2 blank leaves. 
225 printed on paper at £2 2s. each, and 10 on 

The Life of Thomas Wolsey, | Cardinal 
Archbishop of York | written by George 
Cavendish | 

[Colophon] Transcribed after the auto- 
graph manuscript of the author, now in 
the British Museum, by F. S. Ellis, and 
finished the 25th day of December, in 
the year 1892, in the Parish of Cocking- 
ton in the County of Devon, and printed 
by me William Morris, at the Kelm- 
scott Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, 
in the County of Middlesex, and finished 
on the 30th day of March, 1893. Sol d 
by Reeves and Turner, ig6, Strand. 
Small 4to., vellum. Four blank leaves ; Fore- 
word, one leaf; title, one leaf; part of Prologue, 
one leaf; b — t in eights + 3 blank leaves. 
250 printed on paper at £2 2j, each, and 6 on 

The History of Godfrey of Bo- j loyne 
and of the Conquest of | Iherusalem. | 
[Colophon] This new edition of 'Wil- 
liam Caxton's Godeffroy of Boloyne, 
done after the first edition, was cor- 
rected for the press by H. Halliday 
Sparling, and printed by me, William 
Morris, at the Kelmscott Press, Upper 
Mall, Hammersmith, in the County of 
Middlesex, and finished on the 27th day 
of April, 1893. Sold by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press. 

Folio, vellum. Two blank leaves ; printed title, 
one leaf; Foreword and Contents, 10 leaves; 
ornamental title, one leaf; b — gg in eights (one 
leaf has been cut off short in binding, 5 leaves 
are blank, and two of these are used as end-paper 
and paste-down). 

300 printed in black and red on paper at £6 6s. 
each, and 6 on vellum. 

Utopia written by Sir | Thomas More | 
[Colophon] Now revised by F. S. Ellis 
and printed again by William Morris at 
the Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, in 
the County of Middlesex, finished the 
4th day of August, 1893. Sold by Reeves 
and Turner, 196, Strand. 

8vo., vellum. Two blank leaves ; title, "one leaf ; 
" Foreword by William Morris," 3 leaves; advt. 
of the printer of the second edition, one leaf; 
" The Translator to the Gentle Reader," 2 
leaves; b — t in eights (last two leaves blank); 
printer's imprint on sig. t 6. 

300 printed in red and black on paper at 30^. 
each, and 10 on vellum. 

Maud I A Mono- [ Drama by | Alfred | 
Lord Tennyson | 

[Colophon] Printed by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex, and finished on the nth day of 
August, 1893. Published by Macmillan 
& Co., Bedford Street, Strand. 

8vo., vellum. Five blank leaves; printed title, 
one leaf; ornamental title, one leaf; b — f in 
eights (last sheet unsigned, and last five leaves 
blank, including end-paper and paste-down). 
500 printed in black and red on paper at £2 2s. 
each, and 5 on vellum, which were not for sale. 

Sidonia the Sorceress by William | 
Meinhold translated by Francesca Sper- 
anza Lady Wilde. | 

[Colophon] Here ends the Story of 
Sidonia the Sorceress translated from 
the German of William Meinhold, by 
Francesca Speranza, Lady Wilde, and 
now reprinted by me, William Morris, 
at the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex. Finished on the 15th day of 
September, 1893. 








Folio, vellum. Three blank leaves; printed 
title, one leaf; Preface, &c, 3 leaves; List of 
Chapters, 3 leaves ; b — g g in eights (last four 
leaves blank, two of which being used as end- 
paper and paste-down). 

300 printed in black and red on paper at £4 4r. 
each, and 10 on vellum. 

Gothic Architecture : | A lecture for the 
Arts I and Crafts Exhibition | Society 
by William | Morris. | 
[Colophon] This paper, first spoken as 
a lecture at the New Gallery, for the 
Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, in 
the year 1889, was printed by the Kelm- 
scott Press during the Arts and Crafts 
Exhibition at the New Gallery, Regent 
Street, London, 1893. Sold by William 
Morris, Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, 

i6mo. One blank leaf ; title, one leaf ; a — e4 in 
eights (2 blank leaves) + 2 blank leaves. Pub- 
lished at 2s. 6d. 

Ballads I and | Narrative | Poems by | 
Dante Gabriel | Rossetti j 
[Colophon] Here ends the book of 
Ballads and Narrative Poems, written 
by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and printed 
by William Morris at the Kelmscott 
Press, 14, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, 
in the County of Middlesex, finished 
on the 14th day of October, of the year 
1893. Published by Ellis & Elvey, 29, 
New Bond Street. 

8vo., vellum. Four blank leaves ; printed title, 
one leaf (table of contents on verso) ; orna- 
mental title, one leaf; b — q in eights (sig. q 2 
has printer's mark, the other leaves of the sig. 
are blank, the last two being used as end-paper 
and paste-down). 

310 printed in black and red on paper at £2 2s. 
each, and 6 on vellum. 

Of I King Florus | and the j fair Jehane ] 
[Colophon] Printed by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex & finished on the 16th day of 
December, 1893. Sold by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press. 

i6mo. One blank leaf; printed title, one leaf; 
ornamental title, one leaf; b — g in eights; one 
leaf containing colophon on recto, and two final 
blank leaves. 

350 printed in black and red on paper at js. 6d. 
each, and 12 on vellum. 

The Story | of the | Glittering | Plain | 
or the I Land of | Living | Men | . 
[Colophon] Here ends the tale of the 
Glittering Plain, written by William 
Morris & ornamented with 23 pictures 
by Walter Crane. Printed at the Kelm- 
scott Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, 

in the County of Middlesex, & finished 
on the 13th day of January, 1894. 

Folio, vellum. Five blank leaves ; printed title, 
one leaf (with "List of Chapters" on verso); 
ornamental title, one leaf; b — n in eights (in- 
cluding 6 blank leaves, the last of which is used 
as the paste-down). 

250 printed in black and red on paper at ,£5 ss. 
each, and 7 on vellum. 

Sonnets | and | Lyrical | Poems by | 
Dante | Gabriel | Rossetti | 
[Colophon] Here ends the book of 
Sonnets and Lyrical Poems, written by 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and printed by 
William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 
14 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in the 
County of Middlesex ; finished on the 
20th day of February of the year 1894. 
Sold by Ellis & Elvey, 29, New Bond 
Street, W. 

Small 4to., vellum. Four blank leaves ; printed 
title, one leaf; Table of Contents, 4 leaves; 
ornamental title, one leaf; b — o in eights (sig. 
o 3 has printer's mark, sigs. o 4 — o 8 are blank, 
and the last two are used as end-paper and 

310 printed in black and red on paper at £2 2s. 
each, and 6 on vellum. 

The I Poems | of | John | Keats | 
[Colophon] Overseen after the text of 
foregoing editions by F. S. Ellis, and 
printed by me William Morris at the 
Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, Hammer- 
smith, in the County of Middlesex, and 
finished on the 7th day of March, 1894. 
Sold by William Morris at the Kelm- 
scott Press. 

8vo. Three blank leaves; printed title, one 
leaf; Table of Contents, one leaf; ornamental 
title, one leaf; b — b b in eights + one leaf with 
printer's mark 4- 5 blank leaves. 
300 printed in black and red on paper at 30*. 
each, and 7 on vellum. 

Of the I Friendship | of | Amis | and 
Amile I . 

[Colophon] Here ends the story of Amis 
& Amile, done out of the ancient French 
into English by William Morris and 
printed by the said William Morris, at 
the Kelmscott Press, 14, Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex ; finished on the 13th day of 
March, of the year 1894. Sold by Wil- 
liam Morris, at the Kelmscott Press. 

l6mo. Three blank leaves; title, one leaf ; b — f4 
in eights (last two leaves blank). 
500 copies printed at ys. 6d. each. 

Atalanta | in Calydon | a Tragedy | 
made by | Algernon | Charles | Swin- 
burne I . 

[Colophon] Here ends Atalanta in 
Calydon, a Tragedy made by Algernon 








Charles Swinburne, and printed by 
William Morris, at the Kelmscott Press, 
Upper Mall, Hammersmith in the 
County of Middlesex : finished on the 
4th day of May, 1894. Note that the 
Greek letters in this book were designed 
by Selwyn Image for Messrs. Macmillan 
& Co., -who have kindly allowed them 
to be used here. Sold by William 
Morris, at the Kelmscott Press. 

Folio, vellum. Two blank leaves ; printed title, 
and Dedication to Landor, 2 leaves; "The 
Persons " and " The Argument," one leaf; orna- 
mental title, one leaf; b — g in eights (seven 
leaves of sig. g are blank, and the last two are 
used as end-paper and paste-down). 
250 printed in black and red on paper at £2 2s. 

The Wood beyond the World. | By 

William Morris. | 

[Colophon] Here ends the tale of the 
'Wood beyond the World, made by 
William Morris, and printed by him at 
the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, Ham- 
mersmith, finished the 30th day of May, 
1894. Sold by William Morris, at the 
Kelmscott Press. 

Small 4to., vellum. Five blank leaves ; title, 
one leaf; frontispiece by Burne-Jones, one leaf; 
b — s in eights (last five leaves blank, including 

350 printed in black and red on paper at £2 2s. 
each, and 8 on vellum. With a woodcut de- 
signed by Sir E. Burne-Jones. 

The Tale of the | Emperor Coustans ] 
and of Over Sea. 

[Colophon] This book, the Stories of 
the Emperor Coustans, and of Over 
Sea, was printed by William Morris at 
the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, Ham- 
mersmith, in the County of Middlesex, 
and finished on the 30th day of August, 
1894. Sold by William Morris at the 
Kelmscott Press. 

i6mo. Five blank leaves (including end-paper 
and paste-down); printed title, one leaf; orna- 
mental title, one leaf; b — k in eights (including 
end-paper, paste-down, and a leaf cut off short 
to go below paste-down ; last seven leaves blank. 
Published at ys. 6d. 

The Book | of [ Wisdom | and Lies | 
Arma Georgia; | 

[Colophon] Here endeth the Book of 
Wisdom and Lies, a Georgian storybook 
of the eighteenth century, by Sulkhan- 
Saba Orbeliani : translated, with notes, 
by Oliver Wardrop. Printed by Wil- 
liam Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 
14, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in the 
County of Middlesex : & finished on the 
29th day of September, 1894. Sold by 
Bernard Quaritch, 15 Piccadilly, W. 


8vo., vellum. Five blank leaves (including end- 
paper and paste-down); printed title, with first 
page of Contents on verso, one leaf; rest of 
Contents and Introduction, 7 leaves; ornamental 
title, one leaf; b — r in eights + 4 blank leaves 
(two of which form end-paper and paste-down). 
250 printed in black and red on paper at £2 2s. 

Psalmi Penitentiales | 
[Colophon] Thus ends the rhymed ver- 
sion of the Penitential Psalms found in 
a Manuscript of Horae Beatae Mariae- 
Virginis, written at Gloucester about 
the year 1440, and now transcribed and 
edited by F. S. Ellis. Printed by Wil- 
liam Morris, at the Kelmscott Press, 14, 
Upper Mall, Hammersmith, finished on 
the 15th day of November, 1894. 

8vo. 4 blank leaves (title on verso). Pp. 63. 
300 printed in black and red, 12 on vellum. 

Epistola de contemptu Mundi di Frate | 
Hieronymo da Ferrara dellordine de 
frati [ predicatori la quale manda ad 
Elena Buon- j accorsi sua madre, per 
consolarla della j morte del fratello, suo 
Zio I 

[Colophon] Impresse in Londra per 
Guglielmo Morris alia Stamperia 
Kelmscott, Adi ultimo di Novembre 

-16 (including title) 

reproduction of an early 

8vo. One blank leaf -) 

-1- 1 blank leaf. 

The title-page has a 


The Kelmscott "mark" is here printed in red 


The Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe 
Shelley. Volume I. [Volume II.] 
[Volume III.] 

[Colophon to Vol. III. : — ] Overseen by 
F. S. Ellis after the text of foregoing 
Editions, & printed by me, William 
Morris, at the Kelmscott Press, Upper 
Mall, Hammersmith, and finished on 
the 21st day of August, 1895. Sold by 
William Morris, at the Kelmscott Press. 

8vo., vellum. 

Vol. I., published in 1894. Four blank leaves; 
title, one leaf; contents (with Dedicatory Poem 
to Harriet .... on verso), one leaf; ornamental 
title, one leaf; b — cc in eights-i- 4 blank leaves 
(last used as a paste-down) [pp. 14 including 
blanks, contents, and 2 titles + 309 numbered 
pages + 7 unnumbered blank pages, exclusive of 

Vol. II., published early in l8g5 (February). 
Three blank leaves; sig. a, 4 leaves (2 blank); 
b — d d in eights 4- 4 blank leaves (one of which is 
used as a paste-down) [10 unnumbered blank 
pages + pp. iv + 412 pp. + 10 unnumbered pages 
(g of which are blank, exclusive of paste-down]. 
Vol. III., published September, 1895. Three 
blank leaves ; sig. a, 4 leaves ; b — e e in eights 
(last five leaves blank, and last leaf used as a 
paste-down) [6 unnumbered blank pages-;- pp. viii 







+ pp. 421 + 9 unnumbered blank pages, exclusive 
of paste-down]. 

250 printed on paper at 25*. per volume, and 6 
sets on vellum. 

The Tale of | Beowulf | Sometime I 
King of the | Folk of the | Weder | 
Geats I 

[Colophon] Here endeth the Story of 

Beowulf, done out of the Old English 

tongue by William Morris & A. J. 

Wyatt, and printed by the said William 

Morris at the Kelmscott Press, Upper 

Mall, Hammersmith, in the County of 

Middlesex, and finished on the 10th 

day of January, 1895. Sold by William 

Morris at the Kelmscott Press. 

Folio, vellum. Three blank leaves ; title, one 

leaf (on verso of which begins "Argument"); 

last of Argument, one leaf; ornamental title, 

one leaf; b — i in eights (last four leaves blank, 

and the last two of which are used as end-paper 

and paste-down). 

300 printed in red and black at £2 zs. each, and 
8 on vellum at £10 each, 4 of which were for 

Syr Percyvelle of Gales | 
[Colophon] Overseen by F. S. Ellis, after 
the edition printed by J. O. Halliwell 
from the MS. in the Library of Lincoln 
Cathedral. Printed by William Morris, 
at the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, finished on the 16th day 
of February, 1895. 

8vo. Five blank leaves (including end-paper and 
paste-down); title, one leaf; frontispiece by Sir 
E. Bume-Jones, one leaf; b — h in eights. (Sig. 
h 6 has been cut off in the binding to go below 
paste-down, and six other leaves are blank.) 
350 printed in black and red on paper at 155. 
each, and 8 on vellum at £4 4s. each. 

The Life and Death of Jason, | A Poem 
by William Morris. | 
[Colophon] Here endeth the Life and 
Death of Jason, Written by 'William 
Morris, and printed by the said William 
Morris at the Kelmscott Press, Upper 
Mall, Hammersmith, in the County of 
Middlesex, and finished on the 25th day 
of May, 1895. Sold by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press. 

Folio, vellum. Five blank leaves ; title and 
Argument, one leaf; woodcut by Sir E. Burne- 
Jones, one leaf; b — a a in eights (last five blank, 
including end-paper and paste-down). 
200 printed in black and red on paper at ^5 5^. 
each, and 6 on vellum at j£2l each, 4 of which 
were for sale, with two woodcuts by Sir E. Burne- 

Of Child I Christo- I pher and I fair 
Gold- I ilind. | 

[Colophon] Here ends the Story of Child 
Christopher, & Goldilind the fair : made 

by William Morris, and printed by him 
at the Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, 
Hammersmith, in the County of Mid- 
dlesex. Finished the 25th day of July, 
1895. Sold by William Morris at the 
Kelmscott Press. 

2 vols., i6mo. 

Vol. I. — Four blank leaves ; printed title, one 

leaf; ornamental title, one leaf; b— r in eights 

+ 2 blank leaves. 

Vol. II. — Five blank leaves; title, one leaf ; B— Q 

in eights + 2 blank leaves. 

600 printed in black and red on paper at 151. 

each, and 12 on vellum at £4 4s. each. 

Hand and Soul. By Dante Gabriel 

[Colophon] If Here ends Hand and Soul, 
written by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 
and reprinted from The Germ for 
Messrs. Way and Williams of Chicago, 
by William Morris, at the Kelmscott 
Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith. 
Finished the 24th day of October, 1895. 
Sold by William Morris at the Kelm- 
scott Press. 

Very small 8vo. Five blank leaves; printed title, 
one leaf (with a five-line stanza in Italian by 
Bonaggiunta Urbiciani, 1250, on verso); orna- 
mental title, one leaf; b — e in eights (last four 
leaves blank, and last leaf used as a paste-down) 
[14 unnumbered pages, including blanks + 56 
numbered pages + 12 blank pages, excluding the 

525 copies printed on paper (225 for England at 
lor. each), and 21 copies on vellum (10 for Eng- 
land at 30J. each). 

Poems chosen out of the Works of 
Robert Herrick. 

[Colophon] Edited by F. S. Ellis from 
the text of the edition put forth by the 
author in 1648. Printed by William 
Morris, at the Kelmscott Press, Upper 
Mall, Hammersmith, London, W., and 
finished on the 21st day of November, 
1895. Sold by William Morris at the 
Kelmscott Press. 

8vo., vellum. Three blank leaves ; title, one leaf; 
Index of First Lines, 6 leaves (in addition to 
verso of title-leaf, on which the Index begins); 
ornamental title, one leaf; b — u in eights (last 
four leaves blank, and last leaf used as a paste- 
down) [6 unnumbered blank pages -t- pp. xiv-t- 
ornamental title + 296 pages + 6 unnumbered 
blank pages]. 

250 copies printed on paper at 30J. each, and 8 
on vellum at £8 Ss. each. 

Poems I chosen | out of | The | Works 
of I Samuel | Taylor | Coleridge 
[Colophon] Edited by F. S. Ellis, and 
printed by me, William Morris, at the 
Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, Hammer- 
smith, and finished on the 5th day of 
February, 1896. Sold by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press. 







8vo., vellum. Five blank leaves (including end- 
paper); printed title (Contents on verso), one 
leaf; ornamental title, one leaf; b — h 2 in eights 
+ three blank leaves (including end-paper). 
300 copies printed in black and red on paper at 
£1 is. each, and 8 copies on vellum at £5 5*. 

The Well at the World's End By 
William Morris. 

[Colophon] Here ends The Well at the 
World's End, written by William 
Morris, with four pictures designed by 
Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Printed by 
William Morris at the Kelmscott Press, 
14, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in the 
County of Middlesex, and finished on 
the 2nd day of March, 1896. Sold by 
William Morris at the Kelmscott Press. 

Large 4to., vellum. Five preliminary blank 
leaves (including end-paper) ; title, one leaf; fron- 
tispiece by Sir E. Burne-Jones, one leaf; b — ii in 
eights +4 blank leaves (including end-paper and 

Printed in double columns in Chaucer type. 
350 copies printed in black and red on paper at 
£5 5*. each, and 8 copies on vellum at ^21 each. 

The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. 
[Colophon] Here Ends the Book of the 
Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, edited by 
F. S. Ellis ; ornamented with pictures 
designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, 
and engraved on wood by W. H. Hooper. 
Printed by me William Morris at the 
Kelmscott Press, Upper Mall, Hammer- 
smith, in the County of Middlesex. 
Finished on the 8th day of May, 1896. 
The hearty thanks of the Editor and 
Printer are due to the Reverend Pro- 
fessor Skeat for kindly allowing the use 
of his emendations to the Ellesmere 
MS. of the Canterbury Tales, and also 
of his emended texts of Chaucer's other 
writings. The like thanks also the 
Editor and Printer give to the Delegates 
of the Oxford University Press for al- 
lowing them to avail themselves of 
Professor Skeat's permission. 

Folio, grey boards with linen back. 
Collation : — Three blank leaves unsigned (one 
of which is used as the paste-down); sigs. a 1, 
a 2, blank ; printed title and contents, one leaf; 
ornamental title, one leaf (blank on retto) ; 
b — n n in eights (2 leaves of sig. n n are blank, 
and one is cut off and turned in on the back; 
the end-paper and paste-down are not in the 

The illustrations by Sir E. Bume-Jones are 86 
in number, and are to be found on pages i, g, 15, 
21, 22, 24, 30, 43, 58, 60, 112, 114, 115, 127, 129, 132, 
134, 136, 139, 153. 156, 161, 163, 165, 167, 169, 170, 
222, 223, 240, 241, 243, 244, 245, 248, 250, 252, 253, 
256, 257, 259, 261, 264, 272, 273, 275, 312, 313, 315, 
316, 317, 318, 322. 323. 325. 385> 397. 416, 422, 424, 
426, 431, 434. 437. 438, 44°, 441. 443, 446, 448, 452, 
454, 459, 464, 466, 467, 470, 471, 482, 483, 500, 501, 
518, 519, 536, 537, 553- 

Although signatured in eights the book is a 

folio, each signature being made up of 4 sheets 

of two leaves each. 

425 copies printed on paper at ^20 each, and 

13 on vellum (of which 8 were for sale) at £126 


Laudes Beatae Mariae Virginis 
[Colophon] These Poems are taken from 
a Psalter written by an English scribe, 
most likely in one of the Midland coun- 
ties, early in the 13th century. Printed 
by William Morris at the Kelmscott 
Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in 
the County of Middlesex, and finished 
on the 7th day of July, 1896. Sold by 
William Morris at the Kelmscott Press. 

Folio, grey boards and linen back. Five prel. 
blank leaves ; title, one leaf; b — d in eights (last 
seven leaves blank, including end-paper and 
paste-down, but one of the leaves has been cut 
off short in the binding to go below paste-down). 
The first book printed at the Kelmscott Press in 
three colours (black, red, and blue). 
250 copies printed on paper at 10 -. each, and 10 
on vellum at £2 2s. each. 

The Floure and the Leafe, & | The Boke 
of Cupide, God of [ Love, or the Cuckow 
and the | Nightingale 
[Colophon] Edited by F. S. Ellis, and 
printed by William Morris at the Kelm- 
scott Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, 
in the County of Middlesex, and finished 
on the 21st day of August, 1896. Sold 
by William Morris at the Kelmscott 

8vo., boards, holland back. Four blank leaves 
(including end-paper); title, one leaf; b — d in 
eights + 2 blank leaves (including end-paper). 
Chaucer type. 

300 copies printed in black and red on paper at 
ioj. each, and 10 on vellum at £2 2s. each. 

The Shepheardes Calendar : conteyning 
Twelve ./Eglogues, proportionable to 
the Twelve Monethes. 
[Colophon] Printed at the Kelmscott 
Press, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, in 
the County of Middlesex, and finished 
on the 14th day of October, 1896. Sold 
by the Trustees of the late William 
Morris at the Kelmscott Press. 

8vo., boards, holland back. Four blank leaves 
(including end-paper); title, one leaf; frontis- 
piece, one leaf; b — h in eights (last seven leaves 
blank, including end-paper and paste-down ; one 
leaf has been cut off short to go below paste- 

With 12 full-page illustrations by A. J. Gaskin. 
225 copies printed in black and red on paper at 
£1 is. each, and 6 on vellum at £3 3.1. each. 

The Earthly Paradise. By 'William 
Morris. Volume I. Prologue : The 
Wanderers. March : Atalanta's Race. 
The Man born to be King. 




[Colophon] Printed by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press, and finished on 
the 7th day of May, 1896. 
8vo., vellum, with silk ties. Three prel. blank 
leaves ; sig. a, 4 leaves (including one blank 
leaf, title, dedication, introductory poem, and 
ornamental title-page). 

[Vol. II.] The Earthly Paradise. By 
William | Morris. Volume II. April : 
The I Doom of King Acrisius. The 
Proud I King. 

[Colophon] Printed by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press, and finished on 
the 24th day of June, i8g6. 
8vo., vellum. Seven blank leaves (including end- 
paper and paste-down); title, one leaf; b — i 5 in 
eights + 5 blank leaves (two of which form end- 
paper and paste-down). 

[Vol. III.] The Earthly Paradise. By 
William | Morris. Volume III. May : 
The Story | of Cupid and Psyche. The 
Writing I on the Image. June : The 
Love of I Alcestis. The Lady of the 

[Colophon] Printed by William Morris 
at the Kelmscott Press, and finished on 
the 24th day of August, 1896. 
8vo. , vellum. Seven blank leaves (including end- 
paper and paste-down); title, one leaf; b — m 5 
in eights + 5 blank leaves (two of which form 
end-paper and paste-down). 

[Vol. IV.] The Earthly Paradise. By 
William ) Morris. Volume IV. July : 
The Son | of Croesus. The Watching 
of the I Falcon. August : Pygmalion 
and I the Image. Ogier the Dane. 
[Colophon] Printed by the Trustees of 
the late William Morris at the Kelm- 
scott Press, and finished on the 25th 
day of November, 1896. 
Seven blank leaves (including end-paper and 
paste-down) ; b — k5 in eights + 5 blank leaves 
(two of which form end-paper and paste-down). 
To be completed in eight volumes. 
350 sets printed on paper at 30s. per volume, and 
6 sets on vellum at £7 7s. a volume. 


Sire Degravaunt. An ancient English 
metrical romance, reprinted from the 

Thornton MS. in the library of Lincoln 
Cathedral. 8vo. Chaucer type, in black 
and red. With a woodcut designed by 
Sir Edward Burne-Jones. 

350 copies on paper at 15J. each, and 8 on vellum 
at £4 4j. each. 

Sire Isumbras. Uniform with Sire 
Degravaunt, and from the same source. 
With a woodcut designed by Sir Edward 

350 copies on paper at I2j. each, and 8 on vellum 
at £4 4j. each. 

Sigurd the Volsung and the Fall of the 
Niblungs. By William Morris. Small 
folio. Chaucer type, in black and red. 
With two woodcuts designed by Sir E. 
Burne-Jones, and new borders by Wil- 
liam Morris. 

160 copies on paper at £6 6s. each, and 6 on 
vellum at £21 each. 

The Water of the Wondrous Isles. A 
new romance by William Morris. 4to. 
In black and red. Chaucer type, in 
double columns, uniform with The Well 
at the World's End. 

250 copies on paper at £3 3s. each, and 6 on 
vellum at ^12 12s. each. 

The Sundering Flood. The last romance 
written by William Morris. 

Note. — (1.) Vitas Patrum. St. Jerome's Lives 
of the Fathers of the Desert. Special circulars 
were issued announcing that this work would be 
reprinted from the 1495 edition of W. de Worde. 
It was to have been published at ^5 5^., in two 
quarto volumes, but the work was abandoned. 
(2.) The original announcement of " Sigurd " 
stated that the new edition would have 40 wood- 
cuts designed by Sir E. Burne-Jones. Mr. 
Morris had intended to make a sumptuous book 
of this poem, and was engaged in designing 
new borders for it. Its price was advertised at 
;£i2 12*. each for the 325 copies on paper, and 
^52 10s. each for the 6 on vellum. 
(3.) The death of Mr. Morris caused the reprint 
of Berners' translation of The Cronycles of Syr 
John Froissart to be abandoned. It was an- 
nounced to appear in two folio volumes, with 
armorial borders and ornaments specially de- 
signed by Mr. Morris. 

; Good Words," April, 18 


(1) Hapless Love [a Poem.] By William Morris, 
pp. 264, 265. 

(2) England and the Turks. A Letter to the Editor of the " Daily News," October 
25th, 1876. 

The letter is signed " William Morris, Author of * The Earthly Paradise.' 26 Queen-square, Blooms- 
bury, Oft. 24." It occupies nearly the whole of a column. 

(3) " The Earthly Paradise " has been issued by Mr. Stead in his series of Penny 
Poets. It is a prose rendering, interspersed with large quotations from the original. 





LIBRARY : > in 

JUN 1980 

STfcflLIKC - 
NKS42.M67 Via 
Vallance, Aymei 

1962 00072 94: